Florence officials honor Veterans Day with a pair of observances

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Florence Township veterans, municipal officials and patrons gathered at the Eagle Monument on Broad Street on the morning on Nov. 11 for a Veterans Day Ceremony. Photo by Thomas Wiedmann

Florence Township officials and patrons acknowledged their local war heroes with two honorary ceremonies this year on Veterans Day.

A pair of ceremonies were hosted in township on Nov. 11, which included an observance at the township’s Eagle Monument located on the corner of Front and Broad streets, as well as an event at the municipal complex on Broad Street.

The morning’s processions featured remarks from Florence Township Mayor Craig Wilkie, an invocation by Francis W. Robbins American Legion Post 194 member John T. Smith, a Presentation of the Wreath by a former Post 194 Commander Nelson Ranier, a rifle squad presentation by the township’s police department, and a performance of Taps by Post 194 member Doug Seaman.

Following the ceremony at the Eagle Monument, another Veterans Day remembrance event was hosted at the municipal complex where Wilkie served as a keynote speaker. Willitts-Hogan-Tonne Roebling American Legion Post 39 member Deacon Ronald Zalegowski gave an invocation in addition to another rifle squad presentation by the township’s police department, and a performance of Taps by Seaman.

During the ceremony at the Eagle Monument, Wilkie explained the significance of Post 194’s annual efforts to honor events like Veterans Day and Memorial Day, as well as their partnership with the community.

“I’m honored to be here and I’m glad that we have a partnership between the police department and the American Legion,” Wilkie said. “It’s been a timely honor presentation by the Post 194 from when they formed around 1927. It’s something that has always been done by the American Legion, and we are glad to partner with [them].”

After the observance at the Eagle Monument, the crowd traversed its way up Broad Street for the second ceremony at the municipal complex. The Florence Township Mayor welcomed the event attendees

“Florence Township has been fortunate for many, many years to have three veterans’ organizations in the Post 39, Post 194 and the VFW Post 8838,” Wilkie said. “These organizations over the years have provided the most direct support for our hopes in helping our veterans.”

Florence officials also announced that this holiday observance also commemorated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Legion. Officials explained the American Legion’s aim is to contribute to the country’s national security and welfare of military veterans, their families and communities.