On Saturday, November 9, 2019 past Post Commander and current Post Adjutant, Tom Ames, addressed the public during a Veterans Day ceremony at Kerr Park, Downingtown. His talk focused on veterans from the Downingtown area who served in various military conflicts from the French and Indian War to recent wars in the Middle East.
Two days later, on Veterans Day, he and other Post 845 members participated in a ceremony at Simpson Meadows retirement home, Downingtown, to honor the veteran residents of that facility and he repeated the speech he had given at Kerr Park two days earlier with a few modifications. The presentation that Ames composed was as follows:
VETERAN’S DAY REMARKS
Simpson Meadows, 11/11/2019
"The officers and members of Post 845 Veterans of Foreign Wars appreciate the opportunity to be invited to join you today to recognize the contributions and sacrifices of our veterans. It does not matter in what branch of service—or if your service was during war or peace—if you wore the uniform of our nation’s armed forces, we gather today to honor and salute you.
It was quite fitting that we had been asked to assemble at the Veteran’s Triangle at Kerr Park on Saturday the 9th of Nov. in recognition of the contributions of our veteran community from Downingtown— for Downingtown has never been one to shirk from the responsibility of serving our nation’s call. I’m sure the majority here, avoided the cold on Saturday morning and did not attend that ceremony. Because most assembled this afternoon have had long and close ties to the community, I feel it fitting that the address presented at the Veteran’s Triangle on Saturday, in-part, be extended to you here at the Meadows.
* * * * * *
Let it be remembered that long before the Revolution, in 1759 at the old Hunt-Pollock Mill erected at confluence of the Brandywine and Beaver creeks, our Provincial militia, with wagons and ox carts from across Chester and Delaware counties, were gathered at the very spot upon which we now stand, to await loading with supplies and material in support of Gen. Forbes’ military expedition against the French and Indians at Ft. Duquesne at the juncture of the Allegany and Ohio rivers, now the metropolis of Pittsburg. Less than a generation later, during the Revolution our regional residents mustered to the call of arms and marched off to Cambridge, to Brandywine and Yorktown, to secure our rights as a free and independent people. Upon the British occupation of Philadelphia in 1777, the Continental Congress convened briefly at the old inn down the street— now the Pook & Pook enterprise—on their way to convene at York, Pennsylvania.
Again Downingtown residents heard the bugle call in 1812—and in 1849. Then in 1861, veterans in blue and butternut grey—Americans all—faced the terror of shot and shell and a national misery that tore our nation apart.
America survived the subsequent reconstruction but the sons and grandsons of those veterans from both sides were soon mustered in service to don OD and Kaki to fight the Spanish in 1898, and the Imperial Axis Powers in 1917—a war which ended in an armistice at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, a day dedicated by decree of Congress, to observe and honor our nation’s veterans. Armistice Day—the national holiday that we now celebrate today, as Veteran’s Day.
In spite of the cancer of political differences— today our nation has come together—united as one in purpose to recognize, to celebrate—and to remember—the service of our veteran community. Downingtown should never forget them—those few who have given so much to the many.
Veterans of the United States Armed Forces have sacrificed much for the common good of mankind and the freedoms we all enjoy today. We ask for nothing in return except that Americans All, need to understand and appreciate the history and the heritage of this nation in order to preserve our freedoms; for one cannot preserve what they cannot understand.
Yes, on the field of battle Valor can be found—even Love can found beyond the comprehension of those who have never experienced a comradeship wrought of the hardships—the fear and the fatigue of battle. It is a profound love, born of a respect and understanding within the hearts of a Brotherhood and Sister ship of service for the Greater Good of mankind. But, there is no glory to be found on the battlefield—or in the vanity of a brass-buttoned patriot on parade—rather it is found in the ranks of a patriotic and vigilant citizenry determined to understand and maintain the sovereignty of our constitution—that binding document that holds much promise for the future. Teach these values to your grandchildren—the youth of America MUST BE TAUGHT to respect the high and noble principles of our Founding Fathers.
Today, that burden rests upon us, for our history and heritage is being lost in current curriculum of our schools today. Share with tomorrow’s generation, the stories of your service to the righteous ideals represented by our flag that waves over this nation of free people.
I say again, what cannot be understood cannot be preserved. We ask for nothing more.
We wish to thank you and the staff here at Simpon Meadows, for offering us the opportunity to respectfully assemble in your honor and to recognize the valuable service of the veteran community residing here at the Meadows. We salute each and every one of you.
Thomas E. Ames
Adjutant, Post 845 VFW"