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Freedom will hold its Veterans Day commemoration at the Congregational Church on Thursday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. This will be my sixth year as master of ceremonies. Last year’s ceremony was very straightforward and sparsely attended because of the pandemic. Hopefully this year people will feel a little more comfortable coming out.

This Veterans Day marks the 103rd anniversary of the end of World War I. I have always wondered how this day is celebrated in Europe, where the cessation of fighting meant more. Even though Americans had been fighting in Europe for about a year when the Armistice was signed, Americans at large — an ocean away and before television cameras could rapidly reproduce what was going on aboard — obviously felt less the effects of the preceding four years of brutal and chaotic war.

But I digress. If you see a veteran, thank them for their service. Even if they did not experience combat (which I anecdotally find, for some reason, to be the erroneous qualifier for people to consider a service member a “veteran”), service members voluntarily sacrificed creature comforts and predictable, safe lives to serve their country.

Not every country reveres service members as we do. I once had a fun conversation with my German friend who was confused about this very idea. Up until a few years ago, every young German male had to join the service, with very few exceptions allowed. Therefore, serving in the military, quite frankly, was no big deal. I like our way better, where we acknowledge this service to the extent we do, perhaps because people join voluntarily.

Two days after Veterans Day, on Saturday, Nov. 13, Dirigo Grange will have a bake sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The baked goods will include cookies, brownies, and other associated homemade items. The proceeds benefit the Grange Hall.

Also on Nov. 13, the Freedom Volunteer Fire Department will have a hunter’s breakfast from 5 to 10 a.m., down at the Fire Station, 75 Pleasant St. Menu includes eggs to order, bacon and sausage, beans, hash browns, pancakes, toast, juice and coffee. Suggested donation is $8. All proceeds benefit the Fire Department.

If you went out on residential hunting opening day Oct. 29, I hope you were successful!