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Brig. Gen. Lori L. Robinson, 10th Mountain Division (LI) deputy commanding general for support; Command Sgt. Maj. Mario O Terenas, 10th Mountain Division (LI) senior enlisted leader, and Dr. Ty Stone, Jefferson Community College president, walk a wreath to the foot of the Military Mountaineers Monument during the Veterans Day ceremony Nov. 10 in Memorial Park. Spc. Steven Vought, a bugler with the 10th Mountain Division Band, plays “Taps” during the Veterans Day ceremony. (Photos by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)

Fort Drum community members honor veterans during ceremony

Mike Strasser

Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Nov. 10, 2021) – Fort Drum and North Country community members gathered with 10th Mountain Division (LI) Soldiers in Memorial Park on Nov. 10 for the annual Veterans Day wreath-laying ceremony.

Brig. Gen. Lori L. Robinson, 10th Mountain Division (LI) deputy commanding general for support, expressed her gratitude to veterans for their humble service.

“In my experience, our veterans have chosen to serve without asking for much in return,” she said. “So it is fitting today that we simply say thank you.”

Robinson said that living in the North Country is unique because of the surrounding communities that embrace Fort Drum Soldiers and their families, with support to veterans that is nothing short of constant.

“Those currently serving in the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum feel their support daily from this great community,” she said. “And Fort Drum tries to pay it forward to our veterans and retirees living in the area – to stay connected always, throughout the whole year so that if someone is in need of help, we’re here to help each other.”

Dr. Ty Stone, Jefferson Community College president, served as guest speaker at the event. An Air Force veteran and daughter of a Korean War veteran, Stone said that it is vitally important to take time as a nation to acknowledge the sacrifice and commitment made by service members.

“Having a day of national recognition is important to you, and for us, as it reminds us of the significance of our military and its role in allowing our citizens to live safely and to be free,” she said.

Veterans Day honors all who served – living and dead – and commemorates their service and sacrifices during war and in peacetime. Originally called Armistice Day to observe the end of World War I in 1918, it became a national holiday in 1938 to honor veterans of the “war to end all wars.”

However, two wars later, Congress amended the observed holiday in 1954 to reflect the service of all American veterans.

“On this Veterans Day, from one veteran to another, I say thank you,” Stone said. “Thank you for your service, and thank you for your sacrifice. But in acknowledging your sacrifice, I am reminded that service is singular. It is an individual act that all in uniform perform. Your individual service to secure the nation is a noble calling of selflessness and duty. You each freely swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and I cannot think of a more solemn obligation or commitment.” 

Facts about U.S. veterans (from www.history.com):

*19 million living veterans served during at least one war as of April 2021.

*11 percent of veterans are women.

*5.9 million veterans served during the Vietnam War.

*7.8 million veterans served in the Gulf War era.

*933,000 veterans served during the Korean War.

*Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, roughly 240,000 are still alive as of 2021.