Honoring Our Local Veterans

Vice President of Department of Delaware Ladies Auxiliary Collen Thompson, President Pat Darlin, VFW Post 6483 Commander Jerry Thompson, retired military Edward Mocevlski and Raymond Manuel.

Children at Milford High School took time to ‘Thank A Vet” during their lunch period on Friday, November 9. In honor of the observance on Veterans Day on the following Sunday, students were greeted during lunch by retired military Edward Mocevlski and Raymond Manuel. With the help of VFW Post 6483 Commander Jerry Thompson, Vice President of Department of Delaware Ladies Auxiliary Collen Thompson and President Pat Darlin, children were met with bracelets and stickers to show their support for veterans.

“It is important that the students know the history and be aware of the sacrifices veterans continue to make for us,” commented President Darlin. “It was great to hear a lot of the students say that they had family members or friends that were and are in the military.” Darlin’s husband served in the United States Air Force and her son and daughter are currently following in his footsteps.

Students from Milford signed two posters in the main lobby thanking veterans for their sacrifice. The banners will be sent to the local VFW Post 6483 to show students’ gratitude for the sacrifices made by all veterans.

“We are here to bring an awareness to the students that many of them may not have about their veterans,” commented Commander Thompson. “We are educating these students about the military and helping answer questions that they may have.” Commander Thompson served in the United Stated Army during Vietnam and assumed the rank of a E5-Sergeant

On Sunday veterans from around the nation gave out poppy flowers to remind individuals about the sacrifices that veterans have made. The poppy flower has come to symbolize the blood shed and sacrifice of soldiers and originates from the battle in Flanders Field in Belguim during WWI. A particularly bloody battle, many soldiers were buried at Flanders Field. Red poppy flowers began to grow through the field where white crosses were placed for buried soldiers. The contrast of the red poppy and white crosses was so significant that John McCrae, poet and soldier during WWI, wrote “In Flander Field” describing the site. In 1923 the Veterans of Foreign Wars decided to distribute red poppy flowers in remembrance of all who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

During its annual Veterans Day ceremony on Monday, November 12 the Kent County Chapter 850, Vietnam Veterans of America, unveiled and dedicated their new memorial to Delaware’s Gold Star Mothers and Families, an organization formed by widows of veterans after WWI to comfort each other and care for hospitalized veterans. The memorial incorporates a gold star and an 1864 quote from Abraham Lincoln: “I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.”

“We began this project because we felt that Gold Star mothers and families often go unrecognized,” stated Joe Startt Jr., Chapter 850 President in a press release about the event. “They are the ones pictured in the most heart-wrenching photos as they are handed the folded flag ‘on behalf of a grateful nation’.”