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Perry Hall Veterans Celebrate Love of Country

Local seniors celebrated Veterans Day during an annual musical celebration with the Oakettes.

On the cusp of Veterans Day, a crowd of Perry Hall seniors reflected on times of war and peace in their nation's history. 

On Friday morning at the Perry Hall McDonald's, 88-year-old John Poferl slowly pulled himself to his feet as the Oakettes sang "God Bless America." The retired homebuilder served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, a deck hand on ships in both the Atlantic and Pacific between 1943 and 1947. 

"Veterans Day—it's a reason to remember all we went through," Poferl said. 

At another table sat Melvin Foard, 77, who served stateside in the U.S. Army Reserve between 1955 and 1963. He went on to become a machinist and is now retired. 

"There are soldiers still over there fighting for our country. They're still preserving our freedom," Foard said. 

Lee Kessler, 77, served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War between 1953 and 1956. He currently works as a real estate agent in White Marsh, after losing his retirement at Bethlehem Steel.

He said that Veterans Day helps elevate Americans beyond much of the recent political contention by returning focus to fundamental values. 

"A lot of things aren't going right in our country, but on Veterans Day, we seem to come together. Our country was founded on religious freedom. A lot of men fought for it, and we're still fighting for it," he said. 

Tell us what Veterans Day means to you, and who you're honoring this weekend. 

FIFA November 09, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Sadly, Veterans Day is one of the most unappreciated holidays of the year. We will cheer, clap, sing, and wave at the veterans who may not have legs or arms on the field this Sunday at the Ravens game. Then moments later, we will forget them. We will go back to worrying about the weather or other nonsensical things.
Parkvillehoney November 09, 2012 at 10:10 PM
FiIFA, this is the best positive posting I have ever read from you. Thank you so much! My father and husband are both veterans. My son will be returning from Afghanastan very soon which is his 2nd tour. The USO is a great place to contribute or volunteer. This is a wonderful organization for our tropps. God bless all our soldiers.
FIFA November 09, 2012 at 10:21 PM
You are welcome. I am a vet. My father was a Viet Nam vet. Vets are under-appreciated and are paid lip service from many, especially at Ravens games. Most families have no idea what it is like to have a family member in harms way. May your son stay well.
jack amrhein November 10, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Parkvillehoney- please post when your son is coming home and maybe some of us Patch Follerers can make sure he has a welcoming committee!
jack amrhein November 10, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Thank you to all Veterans from every generation. On this 30th Anniversary of the Vietnam Wall Dedication, the words of Jan Scruggs were then, and are even more now, fitting to honor all who served and are serving today "Dedicated to those who came back, to those who never will, and to those that are still there"
Red Dolphin November 11, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Thanks veterans!........
Red Dolphin November 11, 2012 at 10:13 PM
gottta get out my Sgt Sadler song "Green Beret's" play it on every veterans day ,,,,,,,,,, When I see a person ( usually a man) with a vet hat on I will stop and say thanks and shake their hand,,,,,,,,,,, those are america's real heros

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