BELFAST — Hundreds of local residents showed up to recognize and express their appreciation for the sacrifices made by America’s veterans in ceremonies held in Belfast on Nov. 11.

The day began with veterans honoring local youth with patriotic essay awards at Belfast Area High School.

Randall Collins Post 3108 of Belfast annually conducts Veterans of Foreign Wars essay contests for Waldo County middle and high school students. Winners can go on to compete at state and national levels for cash awards and scholarships.

The essay for middle schoolers is called the Patriot’s Pen. Winners from Troy Howard Middle School this year were Glenn Bitely (first place), Alaina Glidden (second place), Kamynn Wadsworth (third place) and Rose White (fourth place).

Patriot’s Pen essay award winners from Troy Howard Middle School pictured Nov. 11 are, from left, Rose White (fourth place), Kamynn Wadsworth (third), Alaina Glidden (second) and Glenn Bitely (first). Photo by Jim Leonard

Awards were presented by Ames Elementary School second grade teacher Briana Brennick, who was named VFW Teacher of the Year at the local and state levels, and Sen. Chip Curry.

In the Voice of Democracy essay contest for high school students, BAHS student Matthew Bruns took top honors. Finishing in a tie for second place were Julia Richards of Mount View High School and Danielle Hickok of BAHS. It was Danielle’s third such VFW essay win.

Voice of Democracy essay winners at Belfast Area High School Nov. 11 are, from left, Danielle Hickok of BAHS and Julia Richards of Mount View, tied for second place, and first place winner Matthew Bruns of BAHS. Photo by Jim Leonard

Following the awards, the annual Veterans Day parade made its way down to the Belfast waterfront for prayers, a moment of silence and a salute to veterans. Post 3108 Commander Jim Roberts was pleased with the participation.

Members of VFW Post 3108 color guard stand at attention as “Taps” ends Nov. 11 Veterans’ Day ceremonies in Belfast. Photo by Jim Leonard

“This is the biggest crowd we’ve had in years,” he said as he concluded the ceremonies.