Dayton American Legion honors veterans with ceremony Thursday

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 6:04 PM EST
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DAYTON, Va. (WHSV) - The American Legion Post 27 in Dayton honored area veterans Thursday with a special ceremony.

The event included the playing of Taps, a 21 Gun Salute and remarks about the importance of Veterans Day.

With no parade in Harrisonburg this year, organizers of the ceremony say they wanted to make sure they did something to let our Veterans know they are appreciated today and every day.

“We thought we’d get together as a group and let veterans know that we’re here when they need us, and we will be here to care of them in any way we can,” Kenneth Hilbert, Commander of Dayton American Legion.

“Veterans are feeling alone, especially since this COVID situation. They can’t get out and be around other people and that’s a terrible situation,” Ben Ridder, Finance Officer of the Dayton American Legion, added.

Because many veterans die by suicide from feeling lonely, Ridder says Post 27 has had a buddy check system in place throughout the pandemic.

“We called these veterans about once a month just to see how they were doing, what they needed and what we could do for them,” Ridder said.

Veterans have sacrificed so much for our country, which is why it’s important that they’re recognized for their service.

“Veterans are here, not to glorify battles or glorify armies or anything like that, we’re here to try to preserve peace for the future,” Ridder said.

Post 27 is currently working to raise money to refurbish the Lady Liberty statue that’s at the intersection of Main Street and Liberty Street in Harrisonburg.

“I have just sent out 275 letters to local businessman and stores asking for their support and suggesting to them that this might be worthwhile, and we’ve had some very good response so far,” Ridder said.

Anyone who is interested in helping with this project should reach out The American Legion Dayton Post 27.

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