Several dozen people gathered at St. Stanislaus Memorial American Legion Post 1771 on Leonard Street Tuesday to mark Veterans Day and to celebrate the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
St. Stan’s Post has been organizing the celebration for 65 years now, and for Post Commander, Rick Kenney, this year’s event marked 15 years of his tenure at the Post.
“We have celebrated our veterans since the revolutionary war and while the name of the war might change, war itself does not change,” said Kenney. “This is a celebration for veterans who are still living and is not to be confused with Memorial Day. That is more of a day for remembrance, but this is a day of celebration.”
For Tuesday night’s celebration, St. Stan’s Post presented a history of the music of war – songs made popular over the course of American wars or those that were created during wars.
“Technology has come out of wars, medical advances have come out of wars, and oddly enough music has as well,” said Kenney to the crowd gathered for the presentation Tuesday evening. “Music has been used for a variety of purposes – motivating the troops, proving signals, and a bunch of songs have been popularized as a result.”
Over the course of the presentation, attendees were shown videos and music clips that related to everything from the creation of the national anthem to songs popularized by Elvis.
Also in attendance at Tuesday’s festivities were Councilmember Steve Levin and Assemblyman Joe Lentol.
“If we forget the people who made us free then we forget everything,” said Lentol. “It is important to remember that this country, America, is the land of the free, because of the sacrifices made by so many, and we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the people who fought for us.”