CSEA Western Region Veterans Committee hosted its annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Saturday, November 14, at the Buffalo Naval and Military Park.

Veterans played traditional trumpet and bagpipe pieces, while guns were fired and flowers were tossed into the water to remember all those veterans who have passed on.

Refreshments where served and a social hour held at 11 a.m. The ceremony began at noon and was followed by lunch.

A Veteran Died Today

He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
and he sat around the Legion telling stories of the past.
Of the war he had fought in and the deeds that he had done.
In his exploits with his buddies they were heroes, everyone.
And 'tho sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
all his buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer, for ol' Bob has passed away,
and the world's a little poorer for a veteran died today.

No, he won't be mourned by many, just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary, very quiet sort of life. He held a job and
raised a family, quietly going on his way; and the world
won't note his passing, 'tho a veteran died today.

When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
while thousands note their passing and proclaim they were
great. Papers tell their life stories, from the time they
were young, but the passing of a veteran goes unnoticed and
unsung. Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land
some jerk who breaks his promise and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow, who in times of war and strife, goes
off to serve his country and offers up his life?

The politician's stipend and the style in which he lives
are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary veteran, who has offered up his all,
is paid off with a medal and perhaps a pension, small.
It's so easy to forget them, for it is so long ago, that our Bobs
and Jims and Johnnys went to battle, but we know. It
was not the politicians and their compromises and ploys,
who won for us the freedom that our country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
would you really want some cop-out, with his ever-waffling stand?
Or, would you want a veteran, who has sworn to defend his home,
his kin and country, and would fight until the end?

He was just a common veteran and his ranks are growing thin,
but his presence should remind us we may need his likes again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the military's
part is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,
then at least let's give him homage, at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in the paper that might say
Our country is in mourning, for a veteran died today.


I Am A Veteran

You may not know me the first time we meet
I’m just another you see on the street
But I am the reason you walk and breathe free
I am the reason for your liberty
I am a Veteran

I work in the local factory all day
I own the restaurant just down the way
I sell you insurance, I start your IV
I’ve got the best-looking grandkids you’ll ever see
I’m your grocer, your banker, your child’s schoolteacher
I’m you plumber, your barber, your family preacher
But there’s par of me you don’t know very well
Just listen a moment, I’ve a story to tell
I am a Veteran

I joined the service while still in my teens
I traded my prom dress for camouflage greens
I’m the first in my family to do something like this
I followed my father, like he followed his
Defying my fears and hiding doubt
I married my sweetheart before I shipped out
I missed Christmas, then Easter, the birth of my son
But I knew I was doing what had to be done.
I served on the battlefield, I served on the base
I bound up the wounded and begged for God’s grace
I gave orders to fire, I followed commands
I marched into conflict in far distant lands
In the jungle, the desert, on mountains and shores
In bunkers, in tents, on dank earthen floors
While I Fought on the ground, in the air, on the sea
My family and friends were home praying for me

For the land of the free and the home of the brave
I faced my demons in foxholes and caves
Then one dreaded day, without drummer or fife
I lost an arm, my buddy lost his life
I came home and moved on, but forever was changed
The perils of war in my memory remained
I don’t really say much, I don’t feel like I can
But I left home a child, and came home a man
There are thousands like me, thousands more who are gone
But their legacy lives as time marches on
White crosses in rows, and names carved in queue
Remind us of what these brave souls had to do
I’m part of a fellowship, a strong mighty band
Of each man and each woman who served this great land
And when Old Glory waves, I stand proud, I stand tall
I helped keep her flying over you over all.

I am a Veteran

By: Andrea C. Brett

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