Honoring veterans in Rochester at the War Memorial

Nov 11, 2018

Credit Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

This is the 100th anniversary of what has also been called Armistice Day, a day that was originally established to mark the end of World War I.

But of course that remembrance has now become a day to honor all veterans and that’s what they were doing at the War Memorial at the Blue Cross Arena on Sunday in a ceremony organized by the Monroe County American Legion.

Charles Zeiner is Commander of that organization, and he has a simple request as area residents talk about Veterans Day.

“That they remember the sacrifices made by our veterans of the past and present and to continue to support our military going forward,“ Zeiner told WXXI News.

Credit Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Connie Corwin was a chaplain in the U.S. Navy in the 1980s, and she says groups like the American Legion really do provide an important support group.

“The one thing that I find within the American Legion, it’s like when you were in the service and you make your families with the people that understand, the places you’ve been in that have served, and were away from home; you make a little community with people that at least understand and you know you can go there if you need somebody that’s going to understand what you’re going through.”

American Legions, VFW’s and similar organizations have struggled a bit in some cases to get new members in recent years as veterans’ lifestyles and responsibilities have changed. But at least one local veteran at the service on Sunday said that as some of those vets get older, they often do seek out the camaraderie they can get at those organizations.

Credit Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Congressman-elect Joe Morelle was at the ceremony as well, and says he is hoping he can do work on behalf of veterans when he gets into his new position as a Congressman.

“The Armed Services committee is one of the committees that I’m actively interested in, so I’ll continue to pursue that over the next several months. Those assignments will happen in January I’m told, so there’s going to be an opportunity to have conversations with people, but this is critically important to our country and to our region,” Morelle said.

The Color Guard at the Sunday ceremonies held at the War Memorial at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester: