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PHOTOS: Lexington Honors Its Veterans on 11/11/11

Veterans Day ceremonies moved inside after forecasts called for morning rain, but Cary Hall was filled with local veterans and residents ready to honor them with roses, cards and essays.

Lexington High School's band filled the stage Friday morning, their tri-corn hats a nod to this town's colonist forefathers and their songs a tribute to the veterans for all they've done to protect that which was started here.

Though the threat of rain washed out plans for a Veterans Day parade and swept the ceremonies down Mass Ave from the to Cary Hall, most invovled felt the Nov. 11 ceremonies were a fitting tribute to the assembled veterans for their service and sacrifices for America and the greater good.

Town Celebrations Committee Chairwoman Suzie Barry delivered the welcome and introduction. The invocation came from Rabbi Howard Jaffe of . The's Honor Guard posted the colors.

"I think it's just trying to find a fitting way to honor their service," said Barry. "It's important to stop and remember what they've done for our country."

According to Barry, the face of local veterans has changed over the years and, whereas in the past most veterans were older men, the crowd on Friday morning included WWII and Korean War veterans sitting alongside men and women in their 20s, 30s and 40s who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Also adding to the ceremonies was the 2011 Veterans Day Essay Contest, which was open to students at Lexington's middle and high schools. On Friday, middle-schooler Eva McDermott and student Abby Grant read their award-winning essays.

"This generation, they really understand what a veteran is," said Richard Crogan, a member of the essay committee. "They really thought deep. Most of them didn't just read from a book; their essays, it was from them."

A few other notes from the ceremonies:

-- The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Col. Lee Cummings, commander of the 3rd Legal Support Organization of the U.S. Army Reserve.

-- There was a nice moment when the Lexington High School Band cycled through the five service songs and members of those branches stood to be recognized.

-- Flowers and 'Thank You' cards to the veterans were distributed to the veterans.

-- Each of the more than 100 Veterans Day Essay entries has been bound together in a book that will be in display at .

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