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Col. J. J. Dill, the commanding officer of the 1st Marine Corps District, says the Pledge of Allegiance surrounded by local Girl Scouts and veterans during the City of White Plains Veterans Day Ceremony at the White Plains City Hall.  Dill was the guest speaker at the ceremony, which was organized to recognize the sacrifices of the men and women who have served in the armed forces.

Photo by Cpl. Juan D. Alfonso

1MCD Marines attend Veterans Day ceremony in White Plains

13 Nov 2012 | Cpl. Juan D. Alfonso 1st Marine Corps District

Marines from the 1st Marine Corps District attended the City of White Plains Veterans Day Ceremony Nov. 11 at the White Plains City Hall.

The annual event is organized by the city’s Veterans Committee to recognize the sacrifices of the men and women who have served in the armed forces.

"We want to support as many Veterans Day events as we can," said Col. J. J. Dill, 1MCD’s commanding officer and guest speaker at the event.  "It’s important because it’s part of what we are as Marines.  We never forget where we come from, so on Veterans Day we don’t just celebrate being Marines, we celebrate being part of the United States Armed Forces."

During the ceremony, Dill, flanked by four Marines from the district, spoke about the local significance to having a Veterans Day observance in White Plains.  During the Revolutionary War, the British managed to defeat and push back George Washington’s army from Long Island to Manhattan and into White Plains.

"It was at the Battle of White Plains were George Washington was able to save part of his army and escaped into New Jersey," Dill said.  "As a nation today, our roots in our military really started in those early days.  The traditions we have today started back there in the service of trying to provide people freedom from tyranny."

Some of the event organizers said they were delighted to have an active duty colonel speak at their small gathering.

"I thought it was extraordinary that the Marines agreed to come and speak," said Lu Caldara, treasurer of the Westchester County Detachment of the Marines Corps League.  "To have someone like Colonel Dill come and represent our Marine Corps for our ceremony truly is an honor."

Following the ceremony, wreaths were placed at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Plot in White Plains Rural Cemetery.