Veterans Day honors all who served

Veterans Day honors all who served

Owego and Tioga County will Honor All Who Served for their valor, courage and sacrifice at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, at the Tioga County Veterans Memorial and Tioga County Civil War Union Memorial on the south lawn of the Tioga County Courthouse in Owego. 

Encouraged to attend are all veterans and their families, Gold Star Mothers and their families and the public.

Taking part in the service are Color Guards and members of Tioga Post 401 American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, Veterans of Modern Warfare of Iraq and Afghanistan, Tioga County Marine Corps League and Glenn A. Warner Post 1371 Veterans of Foreign Wars with their Ladies and Men’s Auxiliaries.

Veterans Day honors those veterans who helped shape American history and remembers the 173 brave service members from Tioga County who paid the price to defend our nation including one Afghanistan, three Iraq, 17 Vietnam, eight Korea, 119 WWII, 25 WWI and many from the Civil War including 500 who died.    

Participating to honor Tioga County’s Civil War veterans, as well as veterans from WWI to Afghanistan, will be the New York 137th and Pennsylvania 141st Voluntary Infantry and Daughters of the Union Veterans. 

The signing of the World War I Armistice took place in a railway coach near the battle zone in France. The bugles sounded cease fire and the hostilities ended, marking a most significant moment in world history – Armistice Day 1918 – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.  

Veterans wear with pride your military medals, decorations, and awards from your service from wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Desert Storm, the Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea and WWII.   

Special recognition will be paid to Owego and Tioga County’s Purple Heart recipients and the oldest living veterans over 90 years of age as reported to the Master of Ceremonies at the park. 

Not forgotten from all wars are our POWs and MIAs. They and their families have suffered greatly through their experiences. 

Tioga County especially honors four fallen heroes of the early Korean War – three whose remains were not recovered and one who is buried near the POW Camp where he died in South Korea. Of the four, one was KIA, one was MIA and two were POWs. Also honored will be a WWII Navy sailor whose submarine was lost, presumably mined in the Yellow Sea.

Veterans Day is intended to thank living Veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served – not only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty. 

Roll Call of Honor will remember veterans from Tioga County who died since Memorial Day 2016. A moment of silence will honor veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in defending freedom.

Veteran organizations encourage all service families and the public to attend the service, Honoring All Who Served. Those in attendance are reminded to dress warm and bring a folding chair. 

Veterans of Modern Warfare of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Ladies Auxiliary of the Glenn A. Warner Post 1371 will visit Riverview Manor Health Care Center. The Sayre Elks and the Mayors of Waverly, South Waverly, Sayre, and Athens will conduct a Veterans Program at Elderwood at Waverly, and at the Sayre Health Care Center to show veterans they are not forgotten. 

Teach students the importance of Veterans Day in schools. Teachers, prepare your students to understand the contributions of and the value of all veterans on Veterans Day. 

Please remember that a student cannot learn what the student is not taught. Do not confuse Nov. 11 with Memorial Day, that day is set aside to recognize the dead. Veterans Day recognizes all veterans. 

Perhaps the easiest thing to do for any teacher or school is to invite one or more veterans to speak with your students. Perhaps a staff member or a student’s parent is a veteran, and certainly there are numerous veterans within your community. 

Observe Veterans Day in church services on Sunday, Nov. 6. On “Veterans Sunday”, honor veterans and their families for their faithful service to our country. 

Here are tips for commemorating Veterans Day. 

Remember the president has proclaimed November as Military Family Month. The nation honors the commitment and sacrifices made by the families of our nation’s service members.  

Attend a community event like the Nov. 11 service at the Tioga County Veterans Memorial. Visit a hospitalized, homebound, or nursing home veteran. 

Display the United States Flag. Talk to your kids. Teach your children about the importance of honoring our veterans. Make a private visit to Tioga County Veterans Memorial. Ask for a veteran to tell you more about a fallen hero. Spread the Word about Veterans Day on Facebook and Twitter.  

Just Listen. Ask the veteran to break out the old photo albums and share stories of their service. Read the Constitution – the heart of the United States. Thank a veteran in person. Say, “Thank You for your service and sacrifices.” 

For the 11th year, the Newark Valley Historical Society will honor veterans of all Armed Forces and spouses of deceased veterans from Berkshire, Newark Valley and Richford, at a free dinner on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, at 4 p.m. at the Parish Hall of St. John’s Catholic Church (not the Newark Valley Fire Station because it is being remodeled). Contact Marcia Kiechle at 642-8967 for more information. 

New American flags for the 2017 season on Owego’s Court Street Bridge need to be purchased with donations from interested citizens. Those flags flying over the Susquehanna River honor Tioga County’s fallen heroes for their service and sacrifice.  

Three videos will explain Wreaths Across America and why it matters from the perspective of the founder who started donating wreaths over 20 years ago, an American Gold Star Mother who lost her son, and personal stories of those who serve and sacrifice. Visit for more information.

Owego and Tioga County observes National Wreaths Across America Day at noon on Saturday, Dec. 17. The mission is to Remember, Honor and Teach about the service of deceased veterans.  

Thousands of wreaths will be placed at Arlington National Cemetery, and at the same time at national cemeteries in the United States including Elmira and Bath and overseas and in all local community cemeteries. 

The objective in Tioga and Bradford Counties and the Valley communities of South Waverly, Sayre and Athens is twofold, a wreath at the entrance to each cemetery and one on each veteran grave. How? By voluntary involvement of individuals, church groups, businesses, and industry buying or making a wreath. It is a beautiful way to honor and remember those who have fought and died for our country. 

For more information on any of these items, contact Glenn A. Warner Post 1371 Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Day Chairman Jim Raftis, Sr. by email to

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