Farmington Chief of Police Kenneth Charles gives a speech at the Teague World War I Memorial Arch on Saturday, Nov. 11, honoring Farmington veterans for Veterans Day. In his speech, he quotes Ronald Reagan by stating, “Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction.” Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

FARMINGTON — Roderick-Crosby American Legion Post 28, joined by Scout Pack 585 and Troop 546 of Farmington, gathered at Teague World War I Memorial Arch and Meetinghouse Park on Saturday, Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans Day.

Proceedings were led by Post 28 Adjutant Drew Goodridge with a prayer from Chaplain Langdon Adams at both locations.

The observance at Teague World War I Memorial Arch began at 11 a.m. and featured a speech from Farmington Chief of Police Kenneth Charles.

“I’m humbled to be here,” he told the crowd. “What a fitting place here in front of our World War I Memorial Arch, dedicated 99 years ago to those who served in the Great War, World War I.

“A day that saw the cessation of hostilities in organized combat at 11 o’clock, on the 11th day of the 11th month, 105 years ago. The war to end all wars it was called, which many times since it’s proven to be a misnomer.”

American Legion Post Commander Stephan Bunker, right, leads the color guard featuring Joe Paradis, center, and Rick Bowen, left, at Meetinghouse Park on Saturday, Nov. 11. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

He continued, “So be it, the ranks of our armed forces have been filled by an all volunteer force for over 250 years, recognizing and thanking those pressed into service intermittently by draft in some of our darkest hours.”


Charles borrowed from Ronald Reagan’s 1967 gubernatorial speech, stating, “Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people.  And those in world history who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”

“Please join me in humble thanks to all those in service to our nation through their military service, past and present with special recognition for those presently deployed in defense of our freedoms today,” Charles concluded.

The observance moved to Meetinghouse Park, home to a number of monuments dedicated to Farmington veterans, such the Civil War Monument erected by George Ranger in 1904, the Farmington World War II Honor Roll and Monument to all Wars, which honors veterans who fought in Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon/Grenada, Panama, Desert Storm and Afghanistan.

Priscilla Kimble, left, sings all four verses of “The Star-Spangled Banner” in honor of Veterans Day at Meetinghouse Park on Saturday, Nov. 11. Also pictured are the American Legion Post 28 color guard, right. From left to right, Rick Bowen, Joe Paradis and Stephen Bunker. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

The observance at Meetinghouse Park featured a performance of the full version of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” with all four verses, by Priscilla Kimble.

Post Commander Stephen Bunker, who led the color guard for both services along with Rick Bowen and Joe Paradis, gave a speech following the performance.

“Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, commemorates the armistice of November 11, 1918, which marks the end of World War I,” Bunker said.


“Since then, the day has evolved to recognize and honor all veterans from every generation who have served in the armed forces of the greatest nation on Earth. In times of peace and in times of war, our veterans have exemplified the values of honor, courage, and commitment.”

Bunker added the purpose of the American Legion is to advocate for veterans, stating “The American Legion has been a stalwart champion in this endeavor, advocating for health care, education, and employment opportunities for those who have served and sacrificed.”

American Legion Post 28 Adjutant Drew Goodridge holds the mic for Post Commander Stephen Bunker while he fights the wind to give a speech on Saturday, Nov. 11. In his speech, Bunkers states, “Warriors need advocates, and that’s why the American Legion exists.” Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

Bunker also reminded the crowd of the toll military service has taken on the mental health of veterans across all wars and conflicts, adding that the American Legion “continues to remind the public that more than 6,000 veterans a year take their own life.”

“We should all commit to be the one to save one,” he added.

Members of the American Legion Post 28, with the helps of Scouts from Pack 585 and Troop 546, placed wreaths at each monument and stood in salute while “taps” was performed by Paul Harnden.

After the event, a luncheon was hosted at the American Legion Post, located at 158 High St. in Farmington.

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