Veterans Day honors all!

Photo by Brett Merrell of Tioga County's centerpiece at its Veterans Memorial.

On this special day, the nation unites to honor and pay tribute to the brave men and women who have served in the armed forces.

Veterans Day, observed on Nov. 11 each year, holds great significance as it commemorates the end of World War One and pays homage to all veterans for their sacrifice, dedication, and service to our country.

Veterans Day is not specific to any particular war or branch of the military. It celebrates the service of all veterans, regardless of their era or background.

There is local support for our veterans. Organizations, businesses, and communities often offer discounts, services, and resources to veterans on this day, demonstrating appreciation for their service.

Many citizens pay their respects at community cemeteries where veterans of all generations are laid to rest. The sight of flags adorning gravestones is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made. Some are missing flag holders. Donate to purchase new flag holders.

Flags, buntings, and patriotic symbols are encouraged for prominent display, demonstrating the unity of the community in honoring veterans.

Schools are urged to engage students in activities that help them learn about the significance of Veterans Day and the sacrifices made by veterans. It’s a chance to instill respect for our military heritage in the younger generation.

Listening to veterans’ stories, experiences and their perspectives is a valuable way to understand the impact of their service on their lives and our nation.

Veterans Day is not just a one-day event, but also a reminder to continuously support veterans through various programs and services. 

Owego never forgets her veterans. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, school students and the general public are invited to honor veterans by their attendance for a full program in Warner Hall of the Glenn A. Warner Post 1371 Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Megan Burrell’s Owego Free Academy Chamber Singers sing patriotic songs. The VFW Honor Guard Presents the Colors. At precisely 11 a.m. outside, fire trucks blow sirens and churches ring bells or chimes 11 times; inside, Honor Guard Bugler Steve Palinosky plays “The National Anthem.” St. Patrick’s / Blessed Trinity Deacon and Honor Guard Chaplain Michael Donovan delivers the Invocation and later Benediction.

The Director of the Tioga County Veterans Service Agency, and President of the New York State County Veteran Service Officer Michael Middaugh documents the many services his agency and staff provide to county veterans.

The former President of the Southern Tier Veterans Support Group and U.S. Naval Academy graduate Al Easton shares memories of Honor Flights, especially the remarkable journey of Twin Tiers Flight Mission 16 on Oct. 21 and 22. Al and his wife Monica served as Guardians.

Vietnam Veteran Lew Sauerbrey relates the history of Flanders Fields and then emotionally reads the WW1 Poem, “In Flanders Fields.”

VFW Post Auxiliary’s Dorolyn Perry will share the story of the Red Buddy Poppy – the enduring symbol of WW1. A Red Poppy of Remembrance will be placed in a wreath during “Roll Call” – reading of deceased veterans from Memorial Day on. Funeral Directors will be asked for names.

Five patriotic citizens will receive Appreciation Plaques from Master of Ceremonies Jim Raftis. With gratitude and thanks to John Loftus for organizing the Memorial Day and Owego Little League Parades on time. GRI Telecom Gordon Ichikawa for faithful public address system Memorial Days at the Tioga County Veteran Memorial and sound in Warner Hall for Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Also, Wendy Post, Editor of the Owego Pennysaver, for scores of veteran stories over the years including the Route 38 Vietnam Memorial Highway of Valor and “The Sentinel” – her coverage of Sgt. Kyle Williams’ completion of duty following 46 months at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Tioga Post 401 American Legion’s Tom Simons for Memorial Day flag procurement, distribution and cemetery placement. WEBO AM FM Owner Dave Radigan for airtime for veterans and his live coverage of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

An awareness report will be presented about the Vietnam Veterans of America Museum in Elmira. Their mission is to tell the true story of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, the longest war in our country’s history. 

Recognition will be paid to Tioga County’s oldest living veteran. The POW/MIA table will remember Tioga County’s four from the Korean War. If present, recognition to a living POW. Encourage veterans with military medals, like the Purple Heart or Bronze Star, to proudly wear them and receive recognition. A combat veteran is invited to share what it is like under fire.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to show their support to local veterans by sharing a green light to let them know they are seen, appreciated and appreciated. 

This Veterans Day let us remember that the freedoms we cherish are not free, and they come at a great cost. Owego and Tioga County are paying tribute to the heroes who have secured our way of life, and let us ensure that their sacrifices are never forgotten.

Email your ideas to for this developing program.

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