It was standing-room only at the Windham Veterans Center Friday, Nov. 11, when more than 100 community members gathered to celebrate and honor Veterans Day.

In an hour-and-a-half-long ceremony hosted by the Lakes Region chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, several speakers discussed the responsibility of citizens to serve their country and the price of freedom.

Korean War veteran Jerry Black of Windham spoke on his experiences growing up in Maine and as a serviceman. He told the crowd he was grateful for a “healthy and joyful military career,” consisting of four years serving the U.S. Navy.

James Mannette, winner of the Voice of Democracy essay contest organized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, read his essay about what he considers his responsibility to serve in the U.S. armed rorces. As award winner, Mannette received a plaque, $100 and a chance to compete in the district-level essay competition.

The local Boy Scout troupe kicked off the ceremony with a presentation of colors, and the Windham Chamber Singers serenaded the crowd with patriotic songs. The ceremony ended with a final dedication of the memorial pavers for Vietnam veterans outside the veteran’s center.



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