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Arbutus American Legion Post 109 honors veterans

Dave Philips enjoys a lighter moment with his fellow members of Dewey Lowman American Legion Post 109's 27 Flags Unit before the group marched down Oregon Avenue in Arbutus for Friday morning's Veterans Day ceremony.
Dave Philips enjoys a lighter moment with his fellow members of Dewey Lowman American Legion Post 109's 27 Flags Unit before the group marched down Oregon Avenue in Arbutus for Friday morning's Veterans Day ceremony. (Photo by Noah Scialom)

The wind whipped down the main street of Arbutus the morning of Nov. 11, snapping the huge U.S. flag to a horizontal position and chilling the gathering below the flagpole on Oregon Avenue near the intersection of Sulphur Spring Road.

Members of the 27 Flags Unit of Dewey Lowman Post 109 struggled to control their 12 flags as they stood in the temporarily closed off street.

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Nearly 40 people stood on the sidewalk on Oregon Avenue Friday, a Veterans Day gathering that Pat Miller, second vice-commander of Dewey Lowman American Legion Post 109 that hosted the annual event, praised for its size and dedication.

They had come to pay tribute to those who had served, to hear speeches extolling that service, to hear Phil Penne play his bagpipes and Cass Schreiner sing the Star-Spangled Banner and God Bless America.

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With schools open, 9-year-old Brandon Knecht was the only child in the crowd. He is home-schooled, said his mother, Alicia, the third vice-commander of the post.

"I'm here to support my post," said Knecht, whose father served in the Navy during the Vietnam War.

The Arbutus resident said she makes it a point to attend the annual gatherings the post hosts at the site for Memorial Day and July Fourth as well Veterans Day.

The South Dakota native said she had served in the Army in Korea. That's where she met her husband, Joe.

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She joined the rest of the crowd in applauding the introduction of Arbutus resident Al Krebs, a Marine World War II veteran who wore his Marine Corps dress blues to Friday's ceremony, and Arbutus native Ed Strine, who served aboard the USS Aaron Ward sunk by Japanese bombers during World War II.

Nearby, Kar Karouna stood in the crowd listening to County Councilman Tom Quirk speak on behalf of himself, state Sen. Edward Kasemeyer and Dels. Steve DeBoy and James Malone, the district's elected representatives.

The Ellicott City resident, a member of the Arbutus post, served with the Army Signal Corps in Korea from 1951-53 during America's Forgotten War.

Patty Riley said her father had also served in the Korean conflict.

As a federal employee, she said she did not have work Friday.

She comes to the Arbutus tribute every year, she said.

"You feel kind of emotional, " she said on her feelings when she leaves the ceremony. "You think the rest of the day about what they (veterans) have given up."

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