Ceremony honors older veterans

By Bill Rautenstrauch, The Observer November 16, 2012 02:16 pm

Sgt. Major Pat  Cochrane, U.S. Army Retired, presents the colors during a Veterans day  ceremony Monday at the Union County Senior Center. The ceremony prior to the noon-time meal honored veterans from all the armed forces branches, and emphasized  contributions of  veterans who are now senor citizens.  BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH - The Observer
Sgt. Major Pat Cochrane, U.S. Army Retired, presents the colors during a Veterans day ceremony Monday at the Union County Senior Center. The ceremony prior to the noon-time meal honored veterans from all the armed forces branches, and emphasized contributions of veterans who are now senor citizens. BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH - The Observer

A big crowd of Union County seniors turned out to recognize the sacrifices and accomplishments of area service members Monday, as Community Connection hosted a special Veterans Day ceremony at the Union County Senior Center. 

The event, held just before the noontime meal, featured a presentation of the colors by Sgt. Major Pat Cochrane. U.S. Army Retired. Cochrane, wearing dress blues, carried Old Glory to the front of the dining hall. Sided by Navy veteran George Monroe, he stood at attention with his flag as the crowd said the Pledge of Allegiance.

Carmen Gentry, Union County manager for the social services agency Community Connection, delivered some remarks during the celebration.

“As we offer our sincere appreciation and respect to our veterans, to their families and those who are still in harm’s way, let us re-dedicate ourselves to serving them as well as they have served America,” Gentry said.

Gentry called all the veterans to the front of the room, by branch of service. Veterans from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, 

Air Force and Coast Guard, most of them senior citizens, trooped up and stood in a line as the crowd cheered and applauded.

Cochrane served in the Navy, Army and Army National Guard in a career that spanned the years 1966-1996. As he sat down to lunch, he said he happily assented when event organizers asked him to bear the flag.

“Veterans Day is a time when we need to reflect on the sacrifices of the members of the military who have gone before us,” he  said.