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 Sunday, Nov. 11, in Warner Hall of the Glenn A. Warner Post 1371, Veterans of Foreign War, not 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. Especially welcomed are school children to learn history from those who actively served in combat.

Also remembered is the centennial anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting in World War One, and the role Tioga County and its citizens played.

A special Veterans Day presentation will be given by Scout Ryan Trenchard, who worked on a Troop 60 Boy Scouts of America Eagle task to locate by GPS the burial site of Tioga County’s Fallen Heroes.

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 Auxiliaries. Other veteran posts in Tioga County are invited to attend.

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 from Afghanistan, three from Iraq, 17 from Vietnam, eight from Korea, 119 from WWII, 25 from WWI, and 500 from the Civil War.     

To honor Tioga County’s Civil War veterans as well as veterans from WWI to Afghanistan, the New York 137th and Pennsylvania 141st Voluntary Infantry, as well as the Daughters of the American Revolution will be present at the ceremony.

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 are encouraged to wear with pride their military medals, decorations and awards from service from wars in Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan, 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, especially those over 90 years of age, as reported to the Master of Ceremonies. 

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

As a fitting tribute, Waverly’s 115 Hometown Heroes banners will be posted on the street poles by Veterans Day. 

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 Killed in Action (KIA), one was Missing in Action (MIA), and two were Prisoners of War (POW). Also honored is 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 2018. A moment of silence will honor veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in defending freedom. 

A Roll Call of Honor will remember Fallen Heroes of WWI.

The Tioga County Veterans Agency is asking all churches to ring their church bell or chimes 11 times at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11. 

Veterans in Health Care Centers Not Forgotten  

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 Day Program at Elderwood at Waverly and Sayre Health Care Center to show veterans they are not forgotten. 

Remembering 100th Anniversary

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day, recognizing the pride and heroism of those who died in the country’s service. 

In 1954, President Eisenhower and the 83rd Congress struck out the word “Armistice” and inserted “Veterans.” World War Two required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen in the nation’s history and after American forces had fought aggression in Korea.   

Bring War History to Exhibit

Community organizations and the public have been asked to add value to the centennial. Some 137th and 141st Voluntary Infantry soldiers will be in WWI uniforms as they fire a rifle salute with their comrades. 

The Tioga County Historical Society is searching for appropriate material on Tioga County’s involvement in WWI. Tioga County Historian Emma Sedore is finding interesting history in her archives.  

Glenn A. Warner Post 1371 Veterans of Foreign Wars seeks photos of veterans for a slide show on Veterans Day and for future patriotic events. 

The community is asked to research and reproduce WWI material. Also invited to write and email whatever is appropriate. 

Questions include did people knit clothes for troops, was their food rationed, did local factories produce for the military?

In Flanders Field/Red Poppies 

The reading of the iconic WWI poem ‘In Flanders Field’ remembers the fallen. It is a 15-line poem from the fallen soldier’s point of view. 

Allied forces suffered devastating losses from chlorine-gas attack. In 10 minutes, roughly 70,000 Allied and 30,000 German forces had died – 6,000 Allied in 10 minutes. Approximately 10,000 to 15,000 were killed in a matter of minutes. 

The dead were buried in a makeshift cemetery. Red poppies often were the only vegetation that grew up on the barren battlefields, rendered toxic by the incoming munitions.  

Teach Students In Schools Importance of Veterans Day 

Teach students in schools the importance of Veterans Day. 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 Veterans Day. Nov. 11 recognizes all veterans whereas Memorial Day recognizes the dead.  

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. 

Please remember that on Nov. 11, your student should be encouraged, or because of its importance should attend a Veterans Day service.  

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 the nation’s service members.  

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

Display for United States and POW/MIA Flags.  

Talk to your kids. Teach your children about the importance of honoring our veterans. 

Make a private visit to the Tioga County Veterans Memorial. Ask for a veteran to tell you more about a fallen hero. 

Just Listen. Ask the veteran to break out the old photo albums and share stories of their service.

Thank a veteran in person. Say, “Thank You for your service and sacrifices.” 

Northern Tioga Veterans Invited to Free Dinner  

For the 13th 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, Sunday, Nov. 11, at 4 p.m. at the remodeled Newark Valley Fire Station. Contact Marcia Kiechle at 642-8967 for more information. 

Support New Bridge Flags  

New American flags for the 2019 season on Owego’s Court Street Bridge need to be purchased with donations from interested and patriotic citizens. Those flags flying over the Susquehanna River honor Tioga County’s fallen heroes for their service and sacrifice.  

Explaining Wreaths Across America

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

Tioga County observes National Wreaths Across America Day at noon on Saturday, Dec. 15. 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. 

Objective here in Tioga and Bradford and Susquehanna 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. 

Who to Contact 

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

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