Ventnor post honors veterans

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In the foreground, Senior Vice Cmdr. Bob McNulty of Egg Harbor Township addresses the crowd and with him, from left are trustee and past Cmdr. Henry Baranski of Linwood, post chaplain Joseph Mangano of Ventnor and trustee and past Cmdr. Tom Klein of Margate. In the foreground, Senior Vice Cmdr. Bob McNulty of Egg Harbor Township addresses the crowd and with him, from left are trustee and past Cmdr. Henry Baranski of Linwood, post chaplain Joseph Mangano of Ventnor and trustee and past Cmdr. Tom Klein of Margate.

VENTNOR – Sunday was a warm and sunny day, perfect for the annual Veterans Day ceremony here. However, many wanted to take a glance inside VFW Turner-Bunting-Durkin Post 3361 on Dorset Avenue.

Post Quartermaster Roger Emmick of Somers Point said the water reached as high as 30 inches inside the building. He and Senior Vice Cmdr. Bob McNulty of Egg Harbor Township spent 30 hours vacuuming the floors just to get them dry.

“The tips of the flags were wet,” Emmick said Sunday, Nov. 11 prior to being the guest speaker out front. He said the damage to the post included a refrigerator, freezer, hot water heater, roof shingles and ceiling tiles, downspouts, electrical outlets and a filing cabinet of historical documents.

When it was his turn to speak, Emmick said a prayer for the community in Ventnor that suffered so much damage at the hands of Hurricane Sandy. He also observed a moment of silence for Navy SEAL Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew G. Kantor of Gillette, who was killed in action in Afghanistan Thursday, Nov. 1.

“Today, all across the nation, patriotic Americans are gathering at events like this one, and are remembering the countless sacrifices of our nation’s veterans. As we honor them, we should also reflect on the many and long-term costs attached to our victories over tyranny and the many liberties we enjoy today because of their selflessness and sacrifices,” Emmick said.

“Any simple words or ceremony we offer in honor of our veterans will ring hollow if, collectively, we are willing to do anything less for the men and women who have do so much for each of us.”

During the service, the crowd sang together the national anthem and “God Bless America.” The latter is a song many associate with Russell T. Smith, the post’s longtime quartermaster and Ventnor police officer who died last year. When Smith would speak to students at local schools, after the band would play “God Bless America,” Smith would ask them to play it “One more time.”

Fittingly, at the close of Sunday’s service, after the crows sung “God Bless America,” Russ’ daughter Patricia Emmick said, “In honor of my dad, one more time.”

The following day, Emmick, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, spoke to students at the Ventnor Educational Community Complex about his service in Vietnam and about the importance of Veterans Day. 

Photos by Shaun Smith

Senior Vice Cmdr. Bob McNulty of Egg Harbor Township and trustee and past Cmdr. Tom Klein of Margate lead the crowd in the flag salute. Senior Vice Cmdr. Bob McNulty of Egg Harbor Township and trustee and past Cmdr. Tom Klein of Margate lead the crowd in the flag salute.   Post Quartermaster Roger Emmick of Somers Point addresses the crowd while Henry Baranski of Linwood and Tom Klein of Margate listen. Both men are trustees and past commanders. Post Quartermaster Roger Emmick of Somers Point addresses the crowd while Henry Baranski of Linwood and Tom Klein of Margate listen. Both men are trustees and past commanders.   Jr. Vice Cmdr. and bugler Jim Caulfield of Margate plays taps to close out the Veterans Day ceremony. Jr. Vice Cmdr. and bugler Jim Caulfield of Margate plays taps to close out the Veterans Day ceremony.

 


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