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Veterans honored in Lake Placid

November 17, 2012

LAKE PLACID - The sun was shining late Sunday morning as members of the American Legion Post 326 lowered and raised flags in honor of local veterans.

The Veterans Day ceremony, which took place outside of the American Legion on Main Street, attracted a crowd of about 50 people. It began with remarks by members of the American Legion, including Post Commander Zay Curtis and Lake Placid resident Rik Cassidy, who served in the U.S. Navy.

"When you leave here today, take the time to thank a veteran," Cassidy told the crowd. "You can't imagine how good it will make them feel. ... I look forward to the day when my grandchildren can ask me, 'Papa, what is war?'"

Jack Vitvitsky of Lake Placid also spoke. His father, Alexander Vitvitsky, joined the military after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. He worked as a chef for the Air Force, and his wife worked as a contract dietician for the Air Force. They eventually moved to Lake Placid to raise their family, Jack said.

"Dad's frequent remembrances of his proud service during World War II inspired me to serve in the Army National Guard for a quarter-century, followed by several years of civilian contract work providing medical care to soldiers, civilians and, yes, native peoples across the U.S.," Jack said.

"Thank you for so honoring our dad with this occasion," he concluded. "We love you, Dad."

Before the ceremony, the American Legion lowered and raised flags at other locations in Lake Placid. At Adirondack Community Church, flags were lowered and raised in honor of Lynn Wilson and John Smith; George Mickey Blair and Edgar Baillargeon were honored at Adirondack Medical Center, and Leon Strack and Xavier Husereau were honored at the Uihlein Living Center.

Three flags were lowered at the American Legion. Those flags had been flown in honor of James St. Louis, Robert Edgley and Alexander Vitvitsky. Then members raised three flags in honor of Philip McKinney, Hoover Barney and Francis Sheffield.

The flag that is currently flying in honor of McKinney, who died in April, will be presented to his wife, Debbie, in the spring.

The American Legion flies six flags every year: three at the post headquarters, one at the World War I memorial at the Adirondack Community Church, one at AMC and one at Uihlein. The flags are flown in honor of a deceased veteran and presented to the family when they're rotated on Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

The American Legion hosted a lunch after Sunday's ceremony.

Contact Chris Morris at

891-2600 ext. 25 or cmorris@adirondack



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