Events honor servicemen and veterans


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Monday is Veterans Day, but the whole month of November is Military Appreciation Month, and a series of activities are planned to honor and pay tribute to those who fought for our country.

Today, veterans will visit two St. Croix schools to give presentations to students.

Members of American Legion Post 102 will be "teachers for a day" at Ricardo Richards Elementary School. They also will present gifts to the school and administer an essay contest for students.

American Legion Post 133 will be at Arthur Richards Jr. High School talking to students about veterans issues.

"These are things they're doing through the week to celebrate Veterans Day and National Education Week," American Legion District Commander Charles David said.

Parades and programs honoring the territory's veterans will take place Sunday and Monday.

Sunday, St. Thomas will host a Veterans Day Parade and ceremony. The parade starts at 3 p.m. at Addelita Cancryn Junior High School and travels to Franklin Delano Roosevelt Veterans Memorial Park.

Retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Farrell will be the parade marshal, and the ceremony will feature retired Lt. Col. Marilyn Georges of the U.S. Marine Corps as the guest speaker.

On Monday, St. Croix and St. John will host Veterans Day parades and programs.

On St. Croix, the parade starts at 9:30 a.m. sharp at Bassin Triangle and ends at the Christiansted grandstand.

"This year we have as our parade marshal retired Sgt. Major. Monroe F. Clendenden Jr.," David said.

At the bandstand, the guest speaker will be Virdin C. Brown, the civilian aide to the secretary of the Army for the Virgin Islands.

David said many youths will be participating in the parade including the marching bands from Central High School and St. Croix Educational Complex, the Boy Scouts, and the Girl Scouts.

The American Legion will also have a large contingent marching in the parade, he said.

"It should be a good parade, just remembering and thanking the veterans for their service and all they've done helping to keep us free," David said.

On St. John, the parade will start at 3 p.m. in Cruz Bay, followed by a program in Franklin Powell Park.

David said the parade marshal will be Elmo Rabsett Sr., and Georges also will be the guest speaker on St. John.

"We're expecting the governor to make presentations at all of these events," David said.

On Thursday, a tree planting ceremony will take place 5:30 p.m. in Frederiksted at Verne Richards Veterans Park.

"That will more or less close out the week for Veterans," David said.

Gov. John deJongh Jr. granted all government workers administrative leave Monday to participate in the festivities honoring the territory's veterans.

"I urge all residents of the territory to remember the sacrifices and contributions of all those who, when called upon to do so, served this territory and this nation honorably in time of war and peace to preserve our heritage of freedom," deJongh stated in his Veterans Day proclamation.

"We must rededicate ourselves to the task of promoting world peace as the most profound reward which we might bestow upon our veterans."

For more information about Veterans Day activities call David at 712-7766 or the St. Thomas-St. John District Office of Veterans Affairs at 774-6100.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email alewin@dailynews.vi.

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