GLENS FALLS — Mayor Dan Hall recently perused a 1944 Glens Falls High School yearbook.
Inside was a picture of about 20 students in uniform, all young teenagers about to go off to war. The basketball team, the yearbook noted, headed off to their posts in the armed forces during World War II after their fourth game.
“They left school and became soldiers,” Hall said. “... That’s just amazing.”
It was one of several moments Sunday that people around the region celebrated Veterans Day, thanking the thousands of men and women who, over the years and wars, have served their country. The American Legion Post 233 held a ceremony at the Victory and Peace Monument in Crandall Park. About two dozen people attended.
Guest speaker Beecher Baker, who is the superintendent of Hadley-Luzerne Central School District and a graduate of the U.S. Army Rangers School, said he was sad that more people weren’t there, adding that the lawn should be full.
While he never saw combat, Baker talked about the unpredictability of joining the service. Signing up provides no guarantees of assignments, deployments or payments, he added, and said veterans have done a “selfless act.”
“All veterans have sacrificed, and we thank them greatly,” he said.
Queensbury Town Supervisor John Strough also spoke, through a letter written to veterans.
“You left your family, your home to serve our nation,” he said. “I recognize and appreciate that. However, I also recognize your sacrifices went beyond the time you served.”
He talked about how some veterans suffer from physical and emotional pain long after their service is over. He encouraged them to seek help but also realize that their sacrifice is appreciated and remembered.
The ceremony was held at the Victory and Peace Monument, a statue depicting two allegorical women that was dedicated in 1927. Glens Falls American Legion Commander Carl Fosco said it was erected to honor those killed in action.
The legion is also working on a granite section behind the monument where about 1,500 names are listed, and any veteran who has served honorably is welcome to be a part of it.
Lake George officials also celebrated Veterans Day, placing more than 6,000 American flags on the front lawn of Fort William Henry. Each flag had the name of a veteran or active duty personnel.