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Celebrating veterans: 40 attend Camden ceremony

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Ross Munro, a retired U.S. Navy master chief and a Camden County commissioner, speaks during the Camden Veterans Day ceremony on the Camden Courthouse green Friday. Other area Veterans Day observances are scheduled for today.

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By Chris Day
Multimedia Editor

Friday, November 10, 2017

CAMDEN — Veterans and the men and women currently serving in the military share a bond: They all sacrifice considerable time away from family, Ross Munro says.

"The heartache of being away from family," said Munro. "I'm sure every veteran experiences that themselves."

Munro, a retired Navy master chief who is also a Camden County commissioners, was speaking at Camden County's Veterans Day observance Friday. About 40 residents attended the ceremony, held on the green of the Historic Courthouse.

Munro told the audience he was "truly honored and humbled" to speak before them. He described himself as a "loving husband, proud father and a family man." He spoke briefly about the origins of Veterans Day.

World War I, also known as the Great War, raged across Europe from 1914 to 1918. On Nov. 11, 1918, the warring nations reached a peace agreement, known as an armistice, Munro said. The people celebrated, for the "war to end all wars" had come to an end, and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson declared Nov. 11 Armistice Day.

"The people of that time were very wishful," said Munro.

What those hopeful people couldn't have known was that lurking in the shadows, waiting some 20 years to reveal itself, was World War II.

Over time Armistice Day became known as Veterans Day, Munro explained.

Right now, Munro said, around the globe from Afghanistan to South Korea and on the world's oceans men and women of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard are standing watch, keeping America safe.

"They will be there when you are sleeping tonight," he said. “There'll be somebody on watch every waking hour. ... They'll be missing their family back home."

Munro encouraged veterans in the audience to share their stories so that others will know of their commitment, as well as sacrifice.

"Please share your stories, let people know what you've done," he said.

Munro asked people who haven't served in the armed forces to seek out veterans and to tell them “thank you” for their service. He even encouraged members of the Coast Guard Junior Leadership Program at Camden County High School to extend their cadet experience by continuing their military experience after graduation.

Also speaking briefly was Clayton Riggs, who also is a veteran and the current chairman of the Board of Commissioners.

In the nation's history about 43 million people have served in the uniformed armed forces, Riggs said. Of those, about 652,000 have given their life.

"We honor them today, but I try to honor them every day," Riggs said.

Friday's ceremony was organized by Timothy White, the county's parks and recreation director. Also participating in the ceremony was the Coast Guard's Junior Leadership Program Honor Guard from the high school. Also from the high school, student musicians Elise Green rendered taps and Alayna Stormer performed on flute.

Additional area Veterans Day observances are scheduled for today.

In Currituck the American Legion will host a ceremony starting at 11 a.m. at Veterans Park in Coinjock. The park is located at 132 Coinjock Canal Road in Coinjock.

In Elizabeth City, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6060 will host a ceremony starting at noon at Waterfront Park. American Legion Post 126 will hold an observance starting at 11 a.m. at the veterans monument on the Perquimans County Courthouse lawn in Hertford.

In Edenton, American Legion state commander Carol Baker will speak at a ceremony starting at 11 a.m. at the Chowan County Veterans Memorial.

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