Harford County will honor its military veterans at various ceremonies in observance of Veterans Day on Sunday, Monday and also later in the week.
Marine Corps veterans with the Harford Detachment of the Marine Corps League got an early start on Friday morning, as they joined county government officials and employees to raise the Marine Corps Flag in front of the county office building in Bel Air, in observance of the 237th birthday of the Corps.
Approximately 30 county employees attended the brief ceremony. Senior Assistant County Attorney and former chair of the Harford County Veterans Commission Michael Comeau was the guest speaker. The flag is to be flown through Saturday.
More ceremonies will be held throughout Harford and Cecil counties on Sunday and Monday to honor our military veterans. There will also be a special dinner to honor veterans at the Jarrettsville VFW Post on Thursday. The public is invited to join in.
Former commander of American Legion Harford Post 39 in Bel Air Dick Gebhard says Nov. 11, Veterans Day, is to "remember all the veterans in all the wars and all the folks who have passed away or were killed in action."
The post will have its ceremony at 3 p.m. Sunday at Bel Air Memorial Gardens near the intersection of Moores Mill Road and Route 924.
"Being a vet, I'm a Vietnam vet, I lost a lot of fellows while I was in school," Gebhard said earlier this week. "It's nice to remember them on Veterans Day, but we try to remember them every day."
Mothers of deceased veterans will be escorted to their son or daughter's grave, Gebhard said, while taps is played.
Walter Mueller, another past commander and Vietnam veteran, will be guest speaker and Gebhard will emcee.
The Bel Air Downtown Alliance is also holding the Hometown Heroes Banner Program for the second year, hanging banners honoring local service members along Main Street.
In addition to those displayed last year, about 10 to 14 new banners have been added, said Downtown Alliance director Scott Walker.
The banners will be displayed in the spring, ahead of Memorial Day, through the Fourth of July and again in October and November ahead of Veterans Day.
For information on how to sponsor a banner, visit http://www.downtownbelair.com.
Though not on Veterans Day, American Legion Post 47 in Havre de Grace will hold its ceremony 11 a.m. Monday at Tydings Memorial Park on Commerce Street. In case of inclement weather, it will be moved to the post's home on St. John Street.
Post commander Richard Ferguson said he takes pride in serving his country for 10 years in the Army.
Veterans Day for him is a moment for people to "show a bit of appreciation for us, the living, and honor our departed comrades," he said. "I take pride in being an American."
Ferguson's son followed in his footsteps, serving for three tours in Iraq and now is attending college.
American Legion Bernard L. Tobin Post 128 in Aberdeen will hold its annual Veterans Day services at 11 a.m. Sunday at Veterans Memorial Park on Parke Street.
There will be a guest speaker from Aberdeen Proving Ground, and the Aberdeen Middle School band will play a few numbers. A rifle corps will fire a 21-gun salute.
Perryville American Legion Post 135, Susquehanna Squadron, will also host a ceremony 11 a.m. Sunday at the post, 300 Cherry Street.
CSM James E. Ervin from U.S. Army Garrison APG will be the guest speaker and the Perryville High School choir will sing. Light refreshments will be served following the ceremony.
The Jarrettsville Young Marines will honor veterans with a spaghetti dinner Thursday, Nov. 15, at Jarrettsville VFW Post 8672, 1714 Morse Road.
"It's very important that we do this," Unit Commander Michael Harris said. The dinner was once a tradition for the Jarrettsville Young Marines and Harris, a veteran from the first Gulf War, wants to get back into that tradition.
Harris' oldest son is a special forces Marine serving overseas.
"It's taking advantage of the veterans that are still with us and showing our appreciation to them," he said.
The dinner is open to the entire Marine Corps league in Harford County and those affiliated with the post.