There is an homage that every man, woman and child pays to veterans past and present, according to Kevin Wagner, chairman of the social studies department for Carlisle Area School District.
“When we salute the heroes in our midst, who defended freedom when our nation called ... our liberty is their legacy,” Wagner said.
Wagner delivered the Veteran’s Day message Monday morning from inside the Old Cumberland County Courthouse in Carlisle during a Veteran’s Day ceremony hosted by the Joint Veterans Council of Carlisle.
In an effort to give a voice to veterans, Wagner read from letters and speeches given by military members from all of the wars dating back to the American Revolution.
As Wagner spoke about each war he listed the number of men and women who served. Tens of millions have served and more than a million paid the ultimate sacrifice during a time of war, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
“To all of our veterans, we have a simple, yet heartfelt message, thank you,” Wagner said. “Thank you for your unwavering service in peace time and war, here in this nation and throughout the world. For all veterans, regardless of their service or the era in which they served, they have paid the price time and time again. They have defended America through the best and worst of times, and they have performed their duties tirelessly with little recognition or fanfare.”
As the Carlisle Home School Choir sang the medley of armed services songs, military members stood to applause from the crowd as the song for the branch of the armed forces was sung.
Wagner had a message for everyone in attendance Monday: Honor veterans by serving the community.
He said this could mean volunteering with a local nonprofit organization, taking an active role in a local Little League, becoming a member of a parent teacher organization or any one of an array of opportunities to give back and better local communities.
“We can all make a difference in our community,” he said. “What better way can we as community members show our children and young people how to live their lives by serving others, exemplified by the men and women we honor today that are our veterans.”