“This is one of the largest turnouts we’ve ever had,” said Wayne Taylor, president of the Joint Veterans Council as he stood in the Veterans Memorial Garden at Martin L. “Marty” Snook Memorial Park.
Marine veteran Robert “Bo” Myers, the event’s speaker, said it was wonderful to see so many veterans and family members of veterans.
Myers asked those in attendance to raise their hands to signify, first, which branch of the military they served, and then during which war they served.
A few veterans from World War II and recent Middle East wars were in attendance. Most of the veterans at the ceremony served during the Korean and Vietnam wars.
Myers asked people to take a moment Sunday not just to thank veterans for their service, but to ask them about their service.
Myers did just that with Alice Bell, with whom he sat before speaking at the event, Bell said. Myers told the crowd that Bell was a World War II veteran.
Bell, 93, of Hagerstown, was a sergeant with the Women’s Army Air Corps in World War II, she said. She was stationed at Maxwell Field in Alabama, where she was a chef and fed hundreds of people every day, she said. Bell is the mother of Herald-Mail reporter Marie Gilbert.
It was at Maxwell Field that Bell met her husband, Elmer, now deceased, a sergeant in the Army Air Corps, said Bell’s son, Bob, who brought her to the ceremony.
“I figured she deserved to have some recognition and be with some of her fellow veterans,” said Bob Bell, an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War who lives in Waynesboro, Pa.
“I think it was nice, really nice,” Alice Bell said. “I was surprised how many people showed up.”