A few hundred people came out to Calverton National Cemetery on a sunny Monday afternoon for the annual Veterans Day ceremony.
The ceremony was nearly derailed this year due to a federal government shutdown, master of ceremonies Dennis Krulder said, though it went on as scheduled at the nation’s largest national cemetery, spanning over 1,000 acres.
Guest speakers included Representative Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), Riverhead Councilman John Dunleavy, and Joe Sledge, public affairs officer at the Veterans Affairs Northport Medical Center.
Bishop recognized the Calverton cub scout pack 404 for projects they had done with veterans recently, conducting flag retirement ceremonies on their behalf and adopting some veterans as pen pals.
Sledge, a peacetime veteran himself, pointed to the good deeds done by some of his colleagues in the crowd – acts as simple as driving disabled veterans from place to place, to planting a garden to be able to sit by and enjoy – as evidence of some ways vets are giving back to their own at the VA.
Quoting from “The Prophet,” Sledge ended with the following: ”‘Your friend is your needs, answered. He is your field, which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving. And he is your board and your fireside. For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.’
“Everyone in this area- in this beautiful cemetery right now who served in U.S. armed forces – we thank you. We thank you for being our board and our fireside. We thank for your feeding us when we came to you hungry. And we think you most importantly for peace.”
Click through for some photos from Monday’s ceremony below. If you attended, feel free to add in your own.