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Washington veterans honor the fallen

GTNS photos by Gretchen Teske

Members of the American Legion Post 29 fired a three-volley salute in honor of the fallen on the front lawn of the Blair House on Saturday, Nov. 10.
GTNS photos by Gretchen Teske Members of the American Legion Post 29 fired a three-volley salute in honor of the fallen on the front lawn of the Blair House on Saturday, Nov. 10.
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Members of the American Legion lined up on the lawn of the Blair House, rifles raised, in a three-volley salute for the fallen in honor of Veterans Day.

The memorial took place the morning of Saturday, Nov. 10, as a small crowd gathered to watch the memorial.

Back inside and away from the cold, American Legion commander Mike York addressed the crowd and explained that all veterans deserve this day as recognition for their work and sacrifices.

“I just fear that in this country, we’re actually losing sight of what freedoms we have,” he said. “They deserve (recognition) for all their hard work.”

Ron Devoll, Chief of Voluntary Services at the Iowa City VA Voluntary Service Office, spoke next. Devoll served in Iraq and said he came to speak on behalf of his office to thank fellow veterans for their work.

“It’s quite an honor,” he said of giving a speech. “It’s equally as amazing to speak as it is an honor to serve.”

York said celebrating Veterans Day is not just about taking a day off work or putting up a picture of someone who served, it’s taking a day to say “thank you” to those who have served and give them the honor and recognition they may not have gotten.

“We need to remind people of those freedoms and those who risked their lives,” he said.

To close his speech, York read a quote by Ronald Reagan that echoed exactly what he meant.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”