CANDIA — The American Legion was joined by the Candia Militia in holding a ceremony for Veterans Day Monday morning at the town's Civil War Monument honoring those who have served and those still serving.
The American Legion's annual Veterans Day ceremony began at 11 a.m. in observance of the armistice that ended major hostilities in World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.
"The ceremony went very well; we had a nice mix of ages. Candia as a town does quite well supporting these events; there hasn't been a time when we haven't had the support of the Selectmen or the residents," Legion member Joe Silveira said.
Silveira, who said he was one of the members of the Legion to speak at the ceremony, said that it is important for America to honor its veterans.
"It is very important to reinforce our country's willingness to protect itself and to honor those who put their lives on the line to do so," he said.
A veteran of the Vietnam War and the New Hampshire National Guard, Silveira said that Veterans Day can be a tough day for combat vets like himself.
"Today I remember my combat soldiers the most, those I fought with and those who never came home," he said.
Silveira added that the current generation of soldiers returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq are worthy of the long legacy of honored service by American soldiers throughout history.
"I feel honored to stand next to the soldiers of today; they have done multiple tours and they have gone through a lot. It's a good time to reflect and thank them," Silveira said.
Resident Ray Cresswell formed the Candia Militia to honor the original Candia Militia from 250 years ago. After the Legion performed its flag ceremony and members gave their speeches, Cresswell and his son performed a two-gun salute to honor past veterans.
While Cresswell's wife, Pia, said that she thought the ceremony went very well, she said she was disappointed with the attendance.
"I think it was poorly attended, but I am glad to see that some families brought their children. It is important that we pass down the values of honoring our veterans to future generations," Pia Cresswell said.