By JACK SIEVERT
The Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council says "thank you" for a memorable Veterans Day 2013.
I had the opportunity as commander to offer the welcome speech at Applebee's restaurant and introduce this year's Master of Ceremonies, John D'Agostino, OBSERVER publisher. The council was honored to have him lead the 2013 Veterans Day Service.
Members of the Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council gather after ceremonies. Below is a photo from the playing of “Taps.”
A special thank you to Applebee's and their General Manager Matt Cobbe for hosting the Thank You for all Veterans and Active Duty Military. The wonderful staff consisted of Jon Campion, Sally McCullough, Cindy Bartkowski and Amanda Ritchie who did an outstanding job organizing and taking care of the hundreds of veterans that visited Applebee's on Veterans Day.
The complimentary meals served were a real tribute to all of our Veterans.
We thank Hannah Wentz for commencing our service by singing our National Anthem, followed by a prayer for our Veterans by Sandra Tapasto, chaplain DJVC.
A special thank you to Ally Clement for assisting us as our greeter and photographer. Applebee's will create a collage with the veterans pictures taken by Ally to display on their walls.
Our principal speaker was Lt. Christopher Wilson, U.S. Coast Guard Sea Partners Campaign. Our guest speaker was MSgt. Brian Schneider, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)
The POW/MIA Table was assembled by Ms. Sally McCullough, Applebee's Manager. The POW/MIA Table script was given by Mr. Raymond Warlikowski, DJVC Trustee, and Past Commander of Chautauqua County VFW, assisted by Richard Makuch DJVC Honor Guard commander.
Honors were presented by the Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council Honor Guard. Three volleys by the DJVC firing squad consisting of Mr. David Huels, Honor Guard Liaison Officer and Trustee; Mr. Edziu Kaus, DJVC Trustee; Mr. Kenneth DeLong DJVC Armorer directed by our Honor Guard Commander Richard Makuch and Assistant Honor Guard Commander Mr. David Dow.
Taps was presented by Ron Kulpa and colors were displayed by DJVC Honor Guard members Ben Rechlin and Dan Cieplinski.
Ending remarks were made by our master of ceremonies thanking Applebee's and all veterans and active duty military for their service to the great country we live in.
The council thanks everyone that participated in the 2013 Veterans Day Tribute with a special thanks for the assistance from Jack Hood, DJVC adjutant and Mr. David Dow, DJVC sergeant at arms, assistant Honor Guard commander and trustee.
The Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council is honored to have veterans from all branches of service who dedicate their time and commitment in seeing that our Veterans are always honored.
God bless our veterans and our great nation.
Jack Sievert is commander of the Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council.