Monday luncheon celebrates region’s Veterans

Hempstead Hall hosts over area 220 servicemen, well-wishers

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
Despite a cold rain and gloomy conditions outside Hempstead Hall, inside an estimated crowd of over 220 persons warmly celebrated servicemen from throughout the area.
Keynote speaker Retired Lt. Col. Jay Kopecky also received an extra honor as Hempstead County Judge Haskell Morse proclaimed “Jay Day” in Hempstead County, shortly after Kopecky gave his speech.
Presided over again by Bob Willis, himself a Vietnam-era Veteran, the event featured the usual pomp and ceremony with presentation of colors, the theme songs of all of the various branches of the military, and presentations of Gold Stars to local families of fallen servicemen.
This year, there was also a special presentation of certificates by Leon Prince to Vietnam-era Veterans, and there was a video presentation from students of HAPS (Hope Academy of Public Service).
Students from HAPS were also acknowledged by Willis for assisting him with this year’s luncheon; a student advisor from HAPS said the Veterans luncheon was part of a semester project for the students.
Per tradition, the luncheon event was also credited to all of the major area civic clubs, including the Hope Kiwanis, Hope Lions, Evening Lions, Hope Rotary, and Hope Civitan Clubs.
Although Veterans Day, November 11, fell on Sunday this year, much of the nation is observing Veterans Day today.

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