A solemn and deliberately sparsely-attended event on Veterans’ Day was held at the memorial in La Entrada Park outside the Corrales Library. Attended by about 15 people, the pandemic-influenced event was highlighted by the ringing of a bell and a brief speech by retired Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Orell.

In his remarks, he said “The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the 11th month 1918 was when the armistice was signed ending the First World War. “For years after, this day was celebrated by the ringing of bells in all churches and the blowing of whistles in all factories. Americans throughout the country would bow their heads, observing a moment of awesome silence, wherever they were, in tribute to all that died in that war.

“Today’s observance of that special day still reflects our respect for the end of the war and many more in which our nation has engaged over the past 102 years. Its name has been changed to Veterans Day, and it has been expanded to include all veterans, the living and the dead.” He ended his comments reciting a poem by Marine Corps chaplain Dennis Edward O’Brien.

“It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
And it is the soldier who allows the protester to burn the flag.”

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