By ASHLEY HELMS
The Armstice of Germany, an agreement that ended the First World War, went into effect on Nov. 11, 1918, at 11 a.m. Though World War I veterans are no longer alive today, their spirits are celebrated in Veterans Day festivities across the nation, including those in the Village of Mamaroneck.
In front of a crowd of about 30 attendees, roughly half of whom were elderly veterans, the American Legion Post 90 in Mamaroneck held a Veterans Day remembrance event at the war memorial in front Village Hall, located at 169 Mt. Pleasant Ave., on Nov. 11.
A bell on the village green rang 11 times at exactly 11 a.m. to mark the historic moment.
The event began with a few opening remarks by American Legion Post 90 Commander Ed Murray. He said one of the most significant contributions veterans have given to the country is that many citizens will never have to endure war because others gave their lives to protect freedom.
But, Murray said, true appreciation is shown in actions and not just words.
“When a member of Congress talks about the cost of veteran services, remind that lawmaker how much it costs to be a veteran,” Murray said.
In addition to American Legion members, local elected officials also attended the ceremony to pay their respects.
Trustee Louis Santoro said the United States celebrates Veterans Day on the day that the guns of World War I fell silent. He noted the more than two million service members worldwide and said they must be treated with respect.
“This day is dedicated to all who answered the call of service,” Santoro said. “Veterans face great danger to preserve peace and freedom.”
State Sen. George Latimer referenced films, including “Saving Private Ryan,” in which the life of Private James Ryan is saved due to the dedication of an army squad who searched for him. Latimer quoted the end of the movie, in which Private Ryan, played by Matt Damon, asks his wife if he’s a good man while standing in front of his friend’s gravesite.
“Anyone here wearing a uniform or an American Legion hat made that sacrifice and that’s why we’re here today,” Latimer said. “You’re good people because you made a sacrifice.”