BROCTON - On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, the Chautauqua County American Legion honored all veterans past and present with a ceremony commemorating Veterans Day. County Vice Commander Craig Sutton, Post 62 Dunkirk, led the ceremony. The Chautauqua County American Legion Staff participated by reading parts of the ceremony.
Chaplain Al Kawski opened the ceremony invoking God's blessings. Sutton expressed "gratitude to the men and women who gave their lives."
Katie LeBarron, Past County Commander; Henry Link, County Second Vice Commander and Commander of the John W. Dill American Legion Post 434; Charyle Tyler, President of the American Legion Ladies' Auxiliary; Cal Fain, Third Vice-Commander and Al Valentin, Post 434 Vice Commander also read. The readings emphasized not only honoring veterans for their military service but that veterans continue to serve their communities.
Brocton American Legion post helps celebrate veterans
Valentin's reading touched on the discipline of voluntary obedience to follow the choice of the majority after a free election.
Those attending the ceremony next moved outside to witness the laying of the red white and blue wreath at the veterans' rock. Sutton and Tyler laid the wreath. A gun salute and taps ended the ceremony.
The John W Dill American Legion Post 434 provided a light lunch of chili, sandwiches, and desserts supplied by the Auxiliary. This was a time for the community to socialize.
OBSERVER Photo by Diane R. Chodan
Craig Sutton, Chautauqua County Vice Commander and Charyle Tyler, President of the American Legion Ladies’ Auxiliary, place a wreath at the veterans’ rock in front of John W. Dill American Legion Post 434. In the background is the honor guard. The Chautauqua County American Legion performed a Veterans Day ceremony honoring all veterans past and present.
World War II veterans Ferris Woleben and Jack Abram held an animated conversation while enjoying lunch. Abram was a marine who enlisted in 1942. He served in the South Pacific on a navy ship. One of his experiences was witnessing kamikaze pilots attack.
Woleben was a radioman on a B-26. He flew 75 missions. He remembers scattering aluminum foil to confuse the radar of the enemy and draw the fire away from the airplane. He served during the D-Day invasion, and remembers that they had to bomb the beach right before the landing.
Asked whether he flies now, he said he doesn't enjoy it. However, he thinks highly of the officer who flew the airplane on which he served.
"He was a very good pilot. He got us out of dangerous situations. I'd go out with him again in a minute," Woleben said.
Woleben said it is important that the young learn about service although he hopes "we never have to do this again."
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