XENIA — Prior to delivering the invocation at the Legacy Village Veterans Day ceremony Thursday, Sheriff Gene Fischer nailed it.
“Today is a great day to be an American and we have our veterans to thank for that,” Fischer said.
And that’s exactly why a large crowd assembled outside Legacy’s community center — to honor veterans all over the country and specifically the 25 who reside on the Legacy campus.
“Today marks a day of remembrance, a day to recognize the sacrifices of those who have served this great nation,” said Beavercreek High School Air Force Junior ROTC Cadet Chief MSgt. Harrison Jacob. “Formally referred to as Armistice Day in the United States to acknowledge the service of those who fought during the Great War (World War I), the name was changed in 1954 to Veterans Day by President Eisenhower following the Korean War to recognize the service of all American veterans.”
Jacob shared a few facts about veterans.
— 19 million living veterans have served during at least one war.
— 11 percent of veterans are women.
— Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, approximately 240,000 were still alive in 2021.
— 933,000 served during the Korean War.
— 5.9 million served during the Vietnam War.
— 7.8 million served in the Gulf War era.
“Although this may seem like many people have served, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans represent less than 10 percent of the United States population,” Jacob said. “With that, we must never forget that the freedoms, liberty, and our way of life that we enjoy today have come at great sacrifice.”
During the ceremony, Beavercreek VFW Post 832 fired three volleys, or 21 rounds, to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to the country. Then as Legacy Village resident Jim Cox played “Taps,” the American Flag flying outside the community center was lowered and retired by the BHS Air Force Junior ROTC and presented to Marjorie Roehm, Legacy Village’s oldest resident at 98. She served four years in the Marines.
A new flag was then raised.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.