Ceremony recognizes state's veterans

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Mark Wyatt
  • 157th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
New Hampshire citizens from every corner of the state came to the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery Nov. 11 for a ceremony to express gratitude to the state's more than 130,000 veterans.

N.H. Governor Maggie Hassan, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte, U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster and many other local and state officials on hand to honor the hundreds of veterans and families attending the annual ceremony at the state cemetery.

Hassan during her remarks recognized the sacrifices made by so many so that Americans can live in peace.

"I want to thank all of our veterans and service members for your selfless sacrifices, your brave service in defense of our great country and your fellow citizens," she said. "Every year we come together on Veterans Day to honor those who have courageously fought to defend the enduring concept of freedom that is our very core."

Maj. Gen. William N. Reddel III, the adjutant general of New Hampshire, along with other speakers, spoke from a podium in front of several World War II, Korean and Vietnam War veterans living at the Tilton Veterans Home. He highlighted the need to educate veterans on services available to them.

In addition, he discussed the acts of kindness he has the opportunity to see towards veterans and members of the N.H. National Guard.

"This state is unbelievable in the way that it treats citizens who have served," said Reddel, who told a story about a waitress working in Concord paying the lunch bill of two soldiers affected by the government shutdown in 2013.

Governor Hassan recognized family members of those who serve.

"We also know that none of you do this alone, for every service member there are countless loved ones whose support helped make your service possible," she said. "So today we are also grateful to your husbands and your wives who deal with all the stress of running a household and caring for a family while their partners are serving. We are grateful to your parents; no one ever wants to send a child into harm's way. And we are grateful to your children, who often take on adult burdens long before they should."

New Hampshire has nearly 5,000 National Guardsmen and Reservists and another 7,000 active duty service members. Hassan noted that since 9/11, more than 2,500 members have served overseas in combat or combat support roles.

"We honor those not only with us today, but everyone who has sacrificed to ensure their fellow Americans would have the opportunity to live in safety and in freedom," she said. "To all of our veterans, I join Granite Staters and Americans everywhere in expressing our eternal gratitude. We will never forget your commitment, your courage or your valor. Your steadfast bravery and service inspires us all."