ATHENS — Two veterans of World War II were among those honored in ceremonies hosted by the Athens American Legion Post 192 on Friday, the anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day.

Laurel “Bill” Williams and Victor Lister, both 98 years old, were among the many veterans honored with a large, engraved plaque, which is to be mounted on a stone in 2019 near a newly erected flagpole at the Athens Fairgrounds downtown.

The ceremony was led by Post Commander Bob Doiron. Five men from the post and five women from the post’s Ladies Auxiliary were on hand for the ceremony, attended by town officials, Athens veterans and eighth-graders from the Athens Community School.

“It’s going to be a small veterans memorial area at the Fairgrounds,” First Selectman Mark Munn said before the ceremony. “We paid for the plaque when we appropriated money for it at the Town Meeting.”

State Sen. Paul Davis, R-Sangerville, the guest speaker at the ceremony, told those in attendance that the veterans who live in Athens are an inspiration to the town.

“Those people gave us America,” Davis said. “You young people have been blessed — all of us have been blessed far beyond what we deserve. You young people live in a wonderful place.”

Davis was followed by a live musical rendition of the Johnny Cash song “Ragged Old Flag,” a spoken-word tribute to patriotism, by local duo Ken and Jane Brooks, followed by “America the Beautiful.”

Veteran Chad Steward then read from the plaque, which in part reads: “This memorial honors all American veterans who, although separated by generations, shared a common undeniable goal to valiantly protect our country’s freedoms.”

Williams and Lister were then presented with small plaques of their own, honoring them for their service.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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