LAKE PLACID - The best way to honor veterans is to provide the services they need when they return from active service.
That was the message Bob Ross gave to the crowd gathered Monday morning for the American Legion Post 326's annual Veterans Day ceremony.
Ross is head of St. Joseph's Addiction Treatment and Recovery Center in Saranac Lake, which plans to open in early 2014 a 25-bed veterans residence program to treat veterans with both addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder. It will be one of four such facilities in the state. He's also board president of Homeward Bound Adirondacks, which focuses on veterans reintegration programing.
Jordanna Mallach, left, adjutant for American Legion Post 326, and post 1st Vice Commander Bob Marvin fold a U.S. flag at a Veterans Day ceremony Monday, Nov. 11 outside the post in Lake Placid. Int he background at center is Bob Ross, head of St. Joseph's Addiction Treatment and Recovery Center in Saranac Lake, who spoke at the ceremony. (Photo by Jessica Collier)
Ross called both groups "an opportunity for this community here to show its respect and its dedication" for veterans.
"I think that there could be no greater testimony to the importance of what has been given to us as service, for us to give back and provide that for them coming back," Ross said.
After Ross spoke, post Adjutant Jordanna Mallach and 1st Vice Commander Bob Marvin lowered the three flags flying in front of the legion in honor of Gerald Cassidy, Albert "Bingo" Hanson, and Richard "Dick" Phillips. The flags were given to the veterans' family members. Then Mallach and Marvin raised three more flags in honor of John E. Lawrence, Phillip Perry and Edwin Frank Blinn. Those flags will remain until Memorial Day 2014, when they will be given to those veterans' families.
The ceremony began with a parade down Main Street. The Lake Placid High School Band played patriotic tunes, and the women's auxiliary group laid a wreath at the base of the monument next to the legion.
Post Commander Zay Curtis led the ceremony, and he welcomed everyone to come into the legion afterward for lunch.