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The first members of the city's new veterans commission were sworn-in Thursday at a Veterans Day ceremony at the War Memorial in downtown Baltimore.

"This new commission will serve as the voice for veterans who live in the city and help us to better address their needs," said Mayor Sheila Dixon, who was joined at the ceremony by veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq, as well as Junior ROTC cadets from city high schools.

The unpaid 11-member commission, which will be chaired by former Del. Clarence "Tiger" Davis, an Air Force veteran, is charged with boosting awareness of veterans and helping those who live or work in the city obtain education and health care.

The city's Veterans Day celebration, one of the largest in recent years, concluded with church bells ringing at 11 a.m., to mark the World War I armistice, which took effect at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

"As a younger veteran, to see the older veterans is heartening," said Robert Maloney, an Iraq War veteran, director of the city's emergency management program and the ceremony's planner. "You know this really means a lot to them."

Elsewhere, Gov. Martin O'Malley and first lady and Baltimore District Judge Katie O'Malley spent part of the day at Dumbarton Middle School, where students have been writing letters to thank members of the military, veterans and their families.

And, earlier this week, state officials launched a new publicity campaign for Maryland's Commitment to Veterans, a confidential service that helps connect veterans with housing, jobs, counseling and healthcare.

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