Mayor Miro Weinberger Honors Vermont's Veterans

Every year on November 11th at 11:00 am Mayor Weinberger participates in an annual event hosted by the VFW Howard Plant Post 782 at Battery Park to commemorate Veterans Day. The timing of the event originates at the end of World War I when the armistice between the Allies and Germany began at 11:00 am on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year.

Below are the Mayor's remarks from this year's event: 

Good morning,

I want to thank you all for joining us today and honoring the millions of Americans who have served in our armed forces.

As Mayor, it is always a great privilege to join you to reflect on Vermont’s and Burlington’s proud tradition of military service and the positive impact of that service on our community.

To the veterans here with us and their families, on behalf of the people of Burlington, I say thank you for that service.  Thank you for your sacrifice.  Thank you for all that you have done to keep this city safe.

On Veterans Day, I also remember my grandfather, Teddy, who served in World War II and was part of the successful campaign of the Allied forces to retake France and then push the Nazis back toward Germany.  He was five months into his European deployment on November 11, 1944, when my mother, Ethel, was born. 

Fortunately, Teddy survived the war and returned to America to prosper.  He got to spend many happy years with his grandchildren. However, he never got back that chance to be there for the birth of his first child.

So many Burlingtonians, Vermonters, and Americans have such stories – many stories of far greater sacrifice.

To our Veterans, I share I am moved by your stories, your service, and your commitment to our City, State, and country.  Today, we honor and remember your service.

We gather like this twice a year, on Veterans Day and Memorial Day.  I have been participating in these ceremonies for over a decade now, and I have often found it challenging to fully evoke the connection between the prosperity we enjoy here and America’s military conflicts.  The horrific battles this country has faced in deserts, beaches, and cities around the world can feel very distant from this beautiful place.

Much less so this year.

Today we gather at a time when war is once again raging in Europe.  We gather at a moment when once again it is very clear that, at times, all that separates us from a world dominated by tyrants and fascists is the willingness of free people to fight for liberty, justice, and democracy.

Just before coming to the park this morning, I saw a video of the Ukrainian flag flying again in Kherson, the only regional capital that Russia had, before today, been successful in capturing in nine months of fighting. 

The world is so much safer today – we are so much safer here in Burlington – with President Putin humiliated and retreating, than the world we would have been living in had he succeeded at claiming Ukraine by force quickly and easily.

It is the men and women of Ukraine, of course, who are paying the ultimate sacrifice in this war against tyranny. 

However, we are standing with them in aid and in spirit and must continue to do so resolutely. 

I am grateful that we have had a federal delegation that has been committed to this.

And the bravery and sacrifice of the Ukrainians are a fresh reminder of how important it is that so many Americans are willing to wear the uniform and defend the values and safety of this country.

So, in conclusion, I say again, thank you to all our veterans

And to the families of our veterans, we know and honor your sacrifice too.

Thank you all – and Happy Veterans Day.

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