On Friday 1-May the Bogota Ralph Hall VFW post #5561 held it's annual Loyalty Day program. This is a day that is use to recognize the heritage of American Freedoms. In honour of this day the Bogota VFW awarded winners in two essay writing categories. The first was the Patriot's Pen which is open to Students in 6st to 8th grade. This year theme was " What Freedom Means to Me." The three finalist were Isabella Osorio, Stephanie Doyle, and the winner for the post #5561 Lara Pena. Ms. Penna essay will now be entered into the VFW District #2 competition. The next category was the "Voice of Democracy" is contest is for Students in High School. The theme for this year's essay was ' My Vision for America". Yohance Garcia from Bogota High School is this years winner. All the winners received $100 for their effort.
Bogota Mayor Chris Keleman spoke to the Audience thanking them for coming the the VFW post and showing support for the VFW and the country. Post Commander Alexander Hernandez then talked about the meaning of being loyal and a Patriot. He described how being Patriotic is different than being a Nationalist. A Nationalist may love a country because of what it is, and not support any different ideas than than their own. A Patriot will love a country based on how it brings together different, People, Religion, ideas,and ways of life into one strong union. He talked about how how proud he is to live in a country whose Patriotic ideas will come together to defend someone else's ideas even it is different from ones own.
A moment of honouring those service Women & Men who have lost their lives to help defend the Country, not only as part of the Military, but as Emergency Services workers at home, with the playing of taps.
Cmdr Hernandez also call the audience attention to a table set-up in the back manned by Anna Urbaniak from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is representing University's Clinical Service for Veterans and Families. This is a service to help any Veteran who has served the Country in Any overseas conflict who may be in need of assistance get the treatment they need to help. Cmdr Hernandez urged anyone in attendance if they, or anyone they know is in need of assistance to please contact them at: www.fdu.edu/cps . He reminded people the Post #5561 is more than just a building, but it is somewhere that will help Veterans and the Community it is in , in times of need.
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