Over 100 area vets and their friends and family crowded into the Kennett Area Senior Center on Tuesday for a Veteran's Day celebration and luncheon.Veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Iraq War form all branches of the armed services were represented.
Kennett Mayor Leon Spencer spoke briefly about the conditions that many vets were forced to endure, from carrying heavy field kits across a battlefield to hearing "I'll Be Home for Christmas" played on a radio at base while knowing full well there would be no holiday reunion for them.
In his remarks to the assembled veterans, U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts, R-16, of East Marlborough Township thanked both the KASC for holding the event and the veterans themselves for their sacrifice and service.
Pitts, who flew 116 combat missions in Vietnam, also recounted a tale told by Sen. John McCain about a fellow POW who collected bits of ribbon to sew an American flag into his pajama top, and the beating he endured when caught.
Even after the beating, the soldier crawled to the scraps of the flag and started to rebuild it.
"McCain said, 'the code we live by is duty, honor and country,'" Pitts said. "These magnificent men and women who serve us live by this code, something bigger than themselves."
He added that freedom is not free - it is paid for by the sacrifices of our sons and daughters who elect to serve this country.
"Thank God for our military who serve us so wonderfully, today and in the past," he said.
State Rep. Chris Ross, R-158, of East Marlborough Township said that when November comes around, his thought turn towards the elections and the division that often spring up in its wake.
Just a week later, however, Veteran's Day comes around and unites people with its message of honor.
"This is the moment when we focus in on the fact of what unites us, what we have in common," Pitts said. "Because the country at the end of the day is its people."