HomeCherry Hill NewsCherry Hill residents, veterans gather for Veterans Day ceremony

Cherry Hill residents, veterans gather for Veterans Day ceremony

There may have been no bigger display of brotherhood and patriotism than at Spring Hills Luxury Assisted Living’s Veterans Day ceremony last week.

Dozens of veterans from every branch of the military were honored with plaques and enjoyed a cake with the American flag.

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The most striking part of the ceremony, however, was veterans, from the Army to the Air Force, joining in patriotic songs such as “America The Beautiful” and “God Bless America.”

All of these veterans had different backgrounds and served all over the world. But they reminded everyone that they are all proud to be an American.

“I was very surprised,” William Doyle, an Air Force veteran from 1946 to 1950, said about the ceremony. “It was really nice.”

With Spring Hills being a senior living community, most of the veterans honored had served during the 1940s and 1950s, a time when the United States was involved in World War II and the Korean War.

Navy veteran Frank Szymkowski served on the U.S.S. Mindoro in the early 1950s during wartime.

“I went to Italy, France, all over the world on the aircraft carrier,” Szymkowski said.

Szymkowski, like many of the veterans at the ceremony, joined the military because he felt it was his duty.

“I paid back my country for everything they gave me,” he said.

Navy veteran Harry Alberti followed the footsteps of his friend when he joined the service.

“The reason why I had gone in was because I had this friend that had died in the Battle of the Bulge,” he said. “I had felt that I wanted to go ahead and serve my country.”

Spring Hills’ executive director Mike Lando presented each veteran with individual plaques. As each name was read, family, friends and fellow veterans gave each veteran a big ovation. Despite the different branches and time periods they served, there was a semblance of brotherhood.

The veterans didn’t join the service for any type of recognition or accolades. However, everyone was very humbled and excited to have been honored at the ceremony.

“It really makes me feel like something good,” Szymkowski said.

“It makes me feel old,” Alberti said jokingly. “It makes me feel good that I served my country at a time that I was needed. I’m happy to hear especially that my grandchildren know. That’s the most important thing.”

Many in the room echoed Alberti’s thoughts. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the central theme was to provide support and aid to all veterans and active military personnel.

Doyle believes today’s youth could benefit from joining the military.

“I think they should have to,” he said. “I think it’s worthwhile to them.”


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