CORNING - Veterans Day is a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served, and large crowds attended several events Monday to do just that.

More than 125 people attended the annual Veterans Day flag ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park, Monday, while other attended events at the Corning Crystal City Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Bath VA and others ceremonies throughout the area.

“No matter how long you served, whether you were drafted or volunteered, you raised your hand, you committed to serve and you defended our nation,” said Bonnie Mann, a United States Marine Corps veteran, and guest speaker at the flag ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park. “Lets not forget that freedom comes at a price and that price is high.”

Russ Miller, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, said at the flag ceremony the ability to serve in our nation’s armed forces is a great honor.

“Currently just over seven percent of our population has served or are serving in our armed forces,” Miller said. “(On Veterans Day) we reflect upon all of those who served and who have served our great nation since its formation.”

Miller said technology changes, the nature of warfare changes, the nature of service to country changes, but the character of American fighting men and women has not and must not change.

“We must continue to be resolute in our convictions to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and to stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in harm’s way,” Miller said the large crowd at the event. “This day is a testimony to people who have done so much.”

During Monday’s Veterans Day flag ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park four enlisted personnel, Caleb Ayers, Kylie Scribner, Lester Jenkins and Dalton Smith were sworn into the U.S. Navy.

“The time of enlistment is a time honored tradition that all members of the military take at various times during our service,” said Dave Warunek, of the Corning American Legion. “We swear this oath when we join the military, when we reenlist, and when we get promoted. I’ve had the honor of administering this oath numerous times throughout my career, and it always fills me with pride.”

Father Lewis E. Brown gave the opening prayer and invocation at the Veterans Day flag ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park. Ritual teams from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guard/Ritual Team and Crystal City VFW Post 524 Honor Rifle Squad also participated in the ceremony.