RUMFOR D – Prayers and thoughts were requested for U.S. troops during Veterans Day ceremony Tuesday at Mountain Valley High School.

“This is a special day, on the heels of a presidential election with a peaceful change of power,” emcee Ron Theriault told the nearly 200 people gathered for the observance.

The Rev. Joseph Roberts, pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church and commander for the local Civilian Air Patrol, echoed Theriault’s sentiment in his prayer: “We thank you for our leaders. We pray for those who are over us, for the transition of power and pray for the outgoing and the coming in, that they may look to you for guidance and wisdom.”

The Rumford Association of Performing Arts sang “God Bless America,” and the Mountain Valley High School Band played tributes to each branch of the military service. Members from each stood as their anthem was played.

Roberts also led a demonstration of a single table setting, symbolizing a place at the table for service members still missing in action.

“A single red rose for their blood and for the families and friends of the missing, a slice of lemon for their bitter fate, an inverted glass because they cannot toast with us, a candle lit in hope and to illuminate their way home, and a folded flag to represent those who gave the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.

Town Manager Len Greaney, a Korean War veteran, spoke of a captain who began life without a direction who set three goals for himself, each one met.

“Charles Rounds graduated with honors from a university, hiked the Appalachian Trail, and trains Harrier pilots for flying over Afghanistan and Iraq. I think Capt. Rounds exemplifies all of us, to set goals and reach dreams,” Greaney said

A Harrier jets can fly vertically, a tactic that is considered very dangerous, Greaney said.

He also led a remembrance for Rumford World War II veteran, Jack Zollo, who recently died, and recognized John Kezal for all the work he does on behalf of veterans in Oxford County.

Theriault honored Rumford resident and World War II veteran Al Richard with a pin marking his service.

The Rev. Angelo Levasseur began the service with a prayer for troops now serving and with thanks for the many blessings each day brings.


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