Veterans Day Program
November 11, 2001 2:00 PM
At the Old Armory, Westminster, Md.
D.A.V. Old Glory Chapter #22
(c) Remarks by Westminster Mayor Kevin Dayhoff -
At the luncheon after the program at the V.F.W. Post 467
515 words - 3 minutes
It is an honor and a privilege to have an opportunity to stand before so many distinguished members of our community and share a few remarks about the meaning of Veteran's Day for me.
For me - it's all about heroes. The real heroes in our lives. September 11th changed - make that appropriately changed - the concept of hero for most Americans. It's a darn shame that we had to have such a dramatic cathartic moment for our collective social conscience to be re-ordered.
But President John F. Kennedy said it best when he said, "Things do not happen, things are made to happen." Now is the time in which we need to make things happen.
For me, September 11th only accentuated feelings that I've always maintained - since childhood. Athletes and movie stars have never been my heroes. I always felt that such hero worship was misplaced, displaced and inappropriate.
I always felt such Hollywood and sports hero worship sent the wrong message to our children and demonstrated a wrong set of values for our community. My heroes have always been teachers, soldiers, police officers, fire fighters and public servants.
One of my heroes - my grandfather, William Earl Wright, served in WWI and was a very proud charter member of Carroll Post #31 of the American Legion.
My father, Ed Frock, Sr., served with the Navy in heavy combat throughout WWII in the Pacific.
My father-in-law, David S. Babylon, Jr., served in WWII. He also served 25 years on Westminster City Council.
My brother-in-law, Colonel William T. Babylon, serves with the 18th Airborne Corps at Ft. Bragg, N.C.
Freddy Magsamen, is one of our native sons who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam. He was my childhood friend.
As I look out across this audience, and I look into the eyes of the many community leaders here today - I see many true living heroes. We all share the values of the veterans who we are here today recognizing. We stand here today, to pay homage to those, whose commitment and sacrifice to our community are inspirations for us all. Commitment and sacrifice to our community as epitomized by our true living heroes, who contribute daily to our community's quality of life.
To quote another living hero of mine - President George W. Bush. He said in his Inauguration speech on January 20th, 2001:
"America, at its best, is also courageous.
Our national courage has been clear in times of depression and war, when defending common dangers defined our common good. Now we must choose if the example of our fathers and mothers will inspire us or condemn us. We must show courage in a time of blessing by confronting problems instead of passing them on to future generations."
Indeed, those are the words of another living American hero who is also a visionary. If it is possible, those words are even more true today, than they were when he said them many months ago.
May God bless all those who serve the cause of freedom and may God bless America. Thank you.