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Vietnam and Desert Storm veteran Robert Kangas of Croydon plays taps during a Veterans Day observance in Newport on Monday. Standing next to him is Korean War veteran June Lunderville of Newport. (MEGHAN PIERCE PHOTO)

Newport Veterans Day event honors military's sacrifices

NEWPORT - Over 50 people attended a Veterans Day program on the Newport Town Common Monday morning. Guest speaker John Nanof, a command sergeant major in the New Hampshire Army national Guard, credited members of the military for protecting democracy.

"Freedom begins with an idea. On Veterans Day, we recognize more than two centuries of men and women who have through their service transformed this idea into the reality that is history's greatest triumph of liberty and dignity, the United States of America," Nanof said.

"The act of donning a uniform is a deeply symbolic act. It is an act and expression of deep and selfless commitment to the idea we call America," Nanof said. "All veterans have taken the idea of a free nation and turned it into the reality of a free nation."

The men and women of the military understand that living in a democracy means giving back and have always answered the call even at the expense of their own lives, he said.

"There is no great act of selflessness no clearer example of being a citizen or hero," he said. "We aspire for lasting peace, but history shows us that victory is a temporary condition. We answer the call by saying, 'Here am I send me.' "

The Brewster-Gould-Lee-Rollins Post 25 American Legion of Newport held the observance.

After Nanof spoke, the Post 25 Honor Guard paraded across the common to the Newport Soldier Monument erected in 1912 where the firing squad shot off three rounds and Vietnam Navy and Desert Storm National Guard veteran Robert Kangas of Croydon played Taps. The observance ended with the sounding of the Post 25 cannon fired by Nanof.

mpierce@newstote.com

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