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American Legion Towson Post #22 Commander Anita Stewart-Hammerer called for the continued funding of services for veterans during a Veterans Day ceremony at the Wayside Cross in Towson.

“Warriors need advocates,” Stewart-Hammerer said Monday. “We need to serve veterans as well as they served us.”

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She referenced the Bonus Army, a group of tens of thousands of veterans who gathered in Washington, D.C., following World War I to demand bonuses and compensation after their service. At least two veterans were shot and killed when local authorities forcibly removed the demonstrators from government property. Stewart-Hammerer also called attention to the problem of veterans who are experiencing homelessness.

Veterans don’t want to be part of “some special class,” Stewart-Hammerer said. However, she said, government officials should not seek to balance their budgets by reducing funding for veterans services, like health care and tuition assistance. She said funding for veterans benefits are “a drop in the bucket” of government funding.

“What better way to honor [veterans] by continuing to provide the services they need?” Stewart-Hammerer said after the ceremony.

Around 70 people gathered for the ceremony at 11 a.m., hosted by Post #22 and Towson Elks #469. Speakers invoked the memory of all veterans from U.S. conflicts, from the Revolutionary War to the ongoing War on Terror.

One of those who attended was Tracy Miller, whose son, Nicholas Ziolkowski, was killed in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. He was 22.

Miller said it’s important for veterans to re remembered. She also said the Towson American Legion, where she is a member of the auxiliary, has been a great resource for her and her family. There’s a scholarship in memory of Ziolkowski at Towson University, where Miller works.

“As a mother, we just don’t want them to be forgotten,” Miller said.

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