Two dozen community members gathered in the chilly air Sunday at the Crofton Village Green for the second Veterans Day and Flags for Heroes dedication ceremony hosted by the Crofton Kiwanis and Crofton Rotary Club.
Patrick Heelen of the Kiwanis Club of Crofton opened the ceremonies by welcoming the crowd and leading the attendees in the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance.
“We’re not here for just a social gathering,” Heelen said. “We’re here for our community members who have served in all branches of our armed forces and our first responders.”
Sen. Ed Reilly led the crowd with bowed heads in the ‘Prayer for Veteran’s Day.”
“We gather today to remember our military personnel,” Reilly said. “We acknowledge that their service enables us to walk as free men and women in this great land.”
Rotary Club of Crofton President Jim Harvey gave an educational and insightful overview of World War I and World War I and how they resulted in a domino effect creating to conditions of our world today.
“Everything that happens to us has roots in WWI,” Harvey said.
County Executive Elect Steuart Pittman spoke of his father’s service in the military and how he was later contracted to travel the country encouraging people to build bomb shelters which “thanks to the military we never had to use,” Pittman said. His father, also Steuart, was a captain in the Marines during WWII and fought in China. Upon return he became assistant secretary of Civil Defense under John F. Kennedy
The mood became serious, somber and reflective as Pittman and Reilly took turns reading the 28 names each American flag is dedicated to.
The large,American flags posted along Route 3 North in front of the Crofton gates, along with plaques, were purchased by family members and friends of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.
Nine WWII veterans are honored, including Army Col. Robert W. Kane who served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
Three generations of the Kane’s descendants attended the ceremony then went to honor him at his flag and plaque.
Vietnam veterans are honored, including Army Specialist Bruce Einer Engstrom who was killed in action in 1968.
Many flags are dedicated to those currently serving, including Army Sgt. First Class Brian Harvey who served in Iraq three times and Army Lt. Colonel Benjamin Pry who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and is deployed to Jordan.
In the closing ceremonies, Kitty Gross of the Arundel Volunteer Fire Department Station #7, received a check for $2,784 from the proceeds of the dedicated flags.
“We wanted to raise a little money to try and restore the little white house,” Heelen said.
The money will be used to restore the ‘white house’ which was the original fire house built in 1954.
“The firehouse was built by the community after three little girls died in a farmhouse fire in Davidsonville,” Gross said. By restoring the building we will be honoring all in the community who came together and built the firehouse and served in it.”
Once restored, the white house will serve as a training center for first responders, and well as a community center. After the ceremony the crowd enjoyed lunch from Mission BBQ.
“It was an honor and a privilege to honor the folks who have sacrificed for their country,” Reilly said.
Civil War reenactor
The Forum hosts Eddie Roberts, a Civil War reenactor, Nov. 15 at noon. He will perform “Footsteps” depicting Civil War facts in character of Union and Confederate points of view.
Roberts will portray his great-grandfathers, who were on opposite sides of the war, in a conversation about their real-life experiences. The event will be held at Osaka’s Grill & Buffet, 1633 Crofton Center. For more information, call 410-562-8920.