A roomful of veterans who now reside in the Chautauqua County Home were honored during a luncheon on Friday that was co-sponsored by the Charles Tinley Disabled American Veterans Post 142 in Dunkirk.
Proudly, the residents in attendance heard an honor roll of military awards and recognitions for their fellow veterans as well as themselves. The list was read by Linda Chase, activity director at the County Home as some 50 veterans were individually applauded at the event.
They all deserved it, including those who served in World War II, others in Korea while some in Vietnam.
Keynote speaker Master Sgt. Brian Schneider of the U.S. Marine Corps gave his thoughts of what Veterans Day means to him. The Forestville resident offered this quote from an unknown author:
"A veteran is a person who writes a blank check to their country and what it stands for," he said. "The amount of that check is up to and including their very lives."
Schneider then continued, "I am proud to have earned the title, veteran.
"As veterans we love our country and what it represents more than the average American will ever know or feel because we have sacrificed all to protect her."
Every veteran knows that "sacrifice."
On this Veterans Day, reflect for a moment on the freedoms we have in the United States of America. These freedoms - many taken for granted - are a product of "sacrifice" by generations of veterans.
How fortunate our country is.