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Ogdensburg ceremony honors veterans’ sacrifice

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A damp mix of chill, snow and rain did little Monday to keep people from noting Veterans Day in Ogdensburg.

Separate morning ceremonies at the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall monument in the Ogdensburg Mall parking lot by Downtown Arterial Highway and at the multi-monument Groulx Park at Greene, Ford and Champlain streets drew about 200 people in all.

Larry Caufield of Ogdensburg served in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam from 1968 to 1972. He was at both ceremonies and was satisfied with the attendance.

Grateful, too.

“They do what their heart tells them to do,” Mr. Caufield said.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 2936 Commander Scott A. Compo said he was grateful, too.

But he admits to having a year-to-year concern about the attendance, mostly due to poor attendance in past years.

“Every year I worry that no one is going to show up,” Mr. Compo said.

Yet Mr. Compo was pleased at the site of saluting children at the ceremony, of students from St. Marguerite D’Youville Academy delivering thank-you letters to the veterans.

“The key is to get the young people involved,” he said.

At Groulx Park, representatives of local veterans groups and service organizations laid wreaths at monuments to deceased 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.

In a separtae observation, a “discouraged” St. Lawrence County Legislator Vernon D. “Sam” Burns, D-Ogdensburg, expressed a by now well-known local concern for local veterans.

“With the announced closing of inpatient services at the St, Lawrence Psychiatric Center, the plan to provide mental health help to our veterans or active duty at Fort Drum appears to have no chance of reality,” he said. “There should be a warm bed with the best doctor and the best care available.”

City Mayor William D. Nelson urged to everyone to always remember and never forget what veterans mean to them and the country.

“Americans who have answered the call to military duty when their country needed them have paid the cost,” he said. “We must never forget what each of them did for us.”

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