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St. Lawrence County communities planning tributes on Veterans Day

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MASSENA - Both the Massena Elks Lodge and the Massena Amvets Post 4 are planning to honor the local members who have fought for their country on Monday for Veterans Day.

The Elks Lodge will be sponsoring their annual Veterans Day lunch from noon to 3 p.m. Monday at their Bowers Street location, while the Amvets Post will host this year’s parade, followed by a ceremony at the fire station and a free buffet at the post on East Orvis Street.

“In the county there are 8,625 veterans and we’ve got quite a few in Massena. We like to see as many of them come out on Monday as possible,” past Department Commander of Amvets Post 4 Mark Phillips said.

The Amvets plan to begin the parade at 10:45 a.m..

The route begins on East Orvis Street, continues onto Main Street and concludes at the Massena Fire Station, where a short ceremony will be held afterwards.

Additionally, Massena Lodge Exhalted Ruler Jim Root said that the North Central District of the New York State Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) will be doing some honoring as well.

“So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them,” Mr. Root said. “We thought that it would be a suitable day to also raise money in support of the Fort Drum USO, so this year we will open our lodge to the public on Veterans Day from 5-7 p.m. for a turkey dinner with all the fixings for $8 per person with all proceeds donated to the USO.”

Mr. Root said that many people outside of the BPOE organization are unaware of the Elks spirit throughout history. During World War I, the Elks provided funding for the first two field hospitals in France and also built a 72-room community house in Camp Sherman, Ohio.

“Support for our troops and veterans is a fundamental belief of the Elks,” Mr. Root said.

OGDENSBURG

Veterans Day will be observed twice publicly on Monday in Ogdensburg.

There will be a 9:30 a.m. ceremony at the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall monument in the Ogdensburg Mall parking lot by Downtown Arterial Highway.

“About four or five of us are going down there to lay a wreath,” said Wallace E. Rock Amvets Post 19 First Vice Commander Jerry Peo.

The main annual ceremony will be at 11 a.m. at Groulx Park at the intersections of Green, Ford and Champlain streets.

There, dignitaries and representatives of local veterans groups and service organizations will speak and lay wreaths at monuments to departed local veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War and the War on Terrorism as well as to patriots of the Revolutionary War.

Amvets Commander Donald B. Cook expects, as always, a large and respectful audience that will never forget the veterans’ ultimate sacrifice.

“People have died and given up their lives for our liberty,” he said.

After the ceremony, Amvets will host a soup and sandwich lunch at its clubhouse at 215 Ford St.

CANTON

A Veterans Day ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Canton VFW Post 1231 on Gouverneur Street.

On this day, the post will recognize and honor local veterans who have been inducted into the New York State Senate Veteran Hall of Fame.

Also as part of the ceremony, the post will raise and fly the flag used during the funeral service for Berton (Peanut) Robert, a local World War II veteran.

The public is invited to attend with refreshments to be served in the post room at the conclusion of the ceremony.

POTSDAM Clarkson University Film Professor Brian Hauser will be bringing female veterans’ stories to the forefront in Nontraditional, a film that follows 26-year-old Erika Byrd, a female combat veteran starting her freshman year in college. The world premiere of Nontraditional, which Hauser wrote and directed, is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Monday at Cinema 10 in Potsdam’s Roxy Theater. Christina Xydias, an assistant professor of political science at Clarkson, co-produced the film with Hauser.

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