Veterans recognized at Governors Hall ceremony

MD-Veterans Recognition event_Color guard 3x

Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper>br> An honor guard of Cambridge police, Maryland State Police and County Sheriff officers marched in the flags at Governors Hall.

CAMBRIDGE — The 17th annual Veterans’ Recognition event started with an unmistakable bang — Bill Smith firing his cannon right outside the doors of Governors Hall. Anyone possibly drowsing was snapped immediately awake, and the ceremonies began. The event is held to honor and remember the service veterans gave to our country. Veterans past and present, Homeland Security officers, EMTs, law enforcement officers and all of the heroes tasked with protecting our liberty were honored at the Veterans’ Recognition Day at Sailwinds Park.

“I am just delighted,” said Senator Addie Eckardt, who was on hand for the ceremonies, “that the Veterans’ Recognition Committee keeps this event going, every year recognizing our hometown heroes, our veterans, our military and our first responders. What’s really interesting today is that this event has opened up a whole discussion of our Vietnam veterans, and what hasn’t happened for them, and how we are now recognizing them and trying to make up for lost time, because it was such a long war. I’ve found all that (discussion of Vietnam) particularly informative, having grown up around that era, and having sons in the military, and my brother was in the military, and of course my father and all his brothers were in the military too. So it was particularly profound for me. My hat is off to the Recognition Committee as they continue to put together a wonderful program.”

Governors Hall was filled with many remembrances of wars past, with large placards of photos that were both nostalgic and heartbreaking. Men and women in uniform joined the displays to visit with attendees and tell their stories. George Ames even pointed out himself in a photo of his unit that was on display.

This was the 17th annual event put on by the Veterans’ Recognition Committee, who call themselves modestly “The Crew.” The Crew dedicates the event each year to American Military, Veterans, firefighters and law enforcement, and Homeland Security personnel, to honor and thank our nation’s heroes.

Chief Dan Dvorak of the Cambridge Police Department was the guest speaker for the event. “What a great event,” he told us. “One of things I’m going to speak about today is that there’s no shortage of people who care in this community, and this is just another example of it. I’ve never seen a gathering like this, to remember our veterans. This is a fantastic celebration, and I’m very honored to be asked to speak.”

The chief kept his delivery light, and even started out joking with the audience that the “Veterans’ Committee gave me a 90-minute time limit” for his speech, so he said he wouldn’t be offended if people felt the need to get up and stretch every now and then.

Short commendations were also given by Senator Addie Eckardt, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley, Delegate Johnny Mautz and Dorchester County Councilman Rick Price. Dr. George Ames gave the blessing. Veterans’ Recognition Day queens Miss Victory Carleigh Farley, Junior Miss Victory Rebekah Yockey, and Little Miss Victory Cara Cameron also joined The Crew to support the event.

“I’m proud to be an American,” Mayor Jackson-Stanley told The Banner. “These occasions always make me swell up with the pride that I am not just representing the City of Cambridge, but being part of a community that cares about those who have served our community. I praise the committee for continuing this most historic event. They see that it’s important to continue to remember veterans as well as those who continue to serve, and I’m so glad to be here today.”

The day was a great effort to honor America’s heroes, and our local Dorchester County heroes as well.

Paul Clipper is the editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at pclipper@newszap.com.

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