Westport Thanks And Remembers Its Veterans

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From left, veterans Rob Tirreno, Larry Tirreno and Frank Vino hold the colors during Westport's Veterans Day Ceremony.
From left, veterans Rob Tirreno, Larry Tirreno and Frank Vino hold the colors during Westport's Veterans Day Ceremony. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith
The auditorium at the Westport Town Hall was filled with those residents who are veterans or who came to celebrate and honor them.
The auditorium at the Westport Town Hall was filled with those residents who are veterans or who came to celebrate and honor them. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith
A flutist from the Westport Community Band listens to Staples High School Senior Ian Teran as he talks about how he remembers and celebrates Veterans Day.
A flutist from the Westport Community Band listens to Staples High School Senior Ian Teran as he talks about how he remembers and celebrates Veterans Day. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith

WESTPORT, Conn. – During a program held at Westport Town Hall veterans and their loved ones came to honor fallen warriors and the community came to thank them.

From a proclamation to honor the veterans of Westport, Selectman Charles Haberstroh read that “Americans owe our veterans an immense debt of gratitude for the sacrifices that they have made.”

And that statement rang true through the entire ceremony. First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said that during the cleanup and power restoration efforts from Hurricane Sandy a group of National Guard came to assist the town, something he said went largely unnoticed.

“The presence of this rapid-deployment force in our home town even briefly serves as a vivid reminder of the sacrifices made by those in uniform,” Joseloff said, adding that there are nearly 6 million new veterans from the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Like many people I have close relatives who have served this nation in uniform. My grandfather proudly served during the Korean War,” said Ian Teran, a Staples High School senior.

Teran added that two of his teachers had served and that he himself plans on serving in the U. S. military at some point. “Today is the day that we honor all those who have served this great country in uniform in times of war and peace, and for their willingness to serve and potentially sacrifice their lives for their fellow Americans.”

Two other Staples students, Devon Lowman and Adam Mirkine, played "Taps" at Town Hall. Bill Vornkahl, president of the Westport Veterans Council said that after the ceremony was over a veteran came to him to say thanks and said that listening to the boys play "Taps" brought him to tears.

“Veterans Day offers us the opportunity and the occasion once again to honor those who served, but also honor the dead,” Joseloff said. “We need to say thank you, not just on Veterans Day. But every time you see a man or woman in uniform ... a simple thank you goes along way.”

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What a wonderful ceremony! Thank you to all who helped put it together, especially Sal LaRusso and the Westport Community Band. The music was wonderful. Kudos to Ian Teran for his poignant and upbeat comments about the value of military service -- in his own family, his high school and his future.

Thanks to all who served and continue to serve.

Wow, Ian did a GREAT job honoring all of the veterans from Westport. I feel that it is important to keep honoring the veterans that fight for our freedom, like they did so today. I think that a fellow student from staples high school was there, makes it that much more amazing! I think more young people should attend this event.