SHELTON — Despite the pandemic, residents came together Nov. 11 at the River Walk Memorial Park to honor the city’s military service veterans.

Sutter-Terlizzi Post 16 conducted the ceremony, which featured comments by Mayor Mark Lauretti, who toured several similar ceremonies in the region, and first responders in attendance to pay their respect, on Veterans Day.

“Veterans Day is a tribute to our Veterans and is meant to honor all of those who have served in the United States military no matter the branch of service in which they served,” Dave Gallagher, commander of Sutter-Terlizzi American Legion Post 16 of Shelton, said.

“Our veterans put their uniforms on every day, swore an allegiance to the United States of America to protect and serve both in good times and in difficult times.” Gallagher added. “An interesting thing about veterans is that they don’t speak of their service. We just served our country, did what we signed up for, and expected no fanfare in return.”

Veterans Day was originally known as “Armistice Day,” historically significant that this day continues to be observed on the month, day and hour that the guns fell silent in World War I, at 11 a.m., on Nov. 11, 1918.

The American Legion is the nation’s largest wartime veterans organization which was founded early in 1919. The delegates to the first American Legion National Convention in Minneapolis, broke from business sessions to parade down a main street in a heavy snowstorm at precisely 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918 to mark the anniversary of the armistice.

Gallagher reminded those in attendance that “currently there are thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast guardsmen assigned here in the United States and in distant lands. These veterans are constantly on watch, taking direct action against our enemies, or standing guard silently. They ask for nothing, they volunteered to serve our country.

“When you meet a Veteran, thank him or her for their service to this country,” Gallagher added. “That’s all it takes, just a simple ‘thank you’ recognizing their service and that their service is appreciated. I want to thank all of you for attending our ceremony ... and God Bless the United States of America.”