ELMIRA, NY (WETM)- Residents across the Twin Tiers gathered today to honor the brave men and women who have served our country on this Veterans Day. Several ceremonies were held across the Southern and Northern tier to honor our local veterans.

Veterans Day was originally known as ‘Armistice Day’ back in 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I.

An event took place at Wisner Park at 11 A.M., where different local leaders and veterans spoke. Elmira Mayor, Dan Mandell, is a U.S. Airforce veteran and he was there to share his thoughts on Veterans Day. “It’s formally recognized in the 11th hours of the 11th day of the 11th month…it was supposed to be the war that ends all wars,” says Mandell. However, it wasn’t the war that ends all wars. Since then, the U.S. has fought in many wars and conflicts, fighting for our freedom.

Jim Turpin, a U.S. Marine veteran and our News Director here at WETM, got the chance to be a speaker at the Woodlawn National Cemetery ceremony this afternoon. When asked what this day means to him as a veteran, he responded with, “Honestly, when I walk in here and I see all these white head stones, I’m humbled and I’m sad. I’m also happy because of what these people did who are buried here, we can all live in freedom.” Turpin continued with, “…that’s what the United States is all about, living in freedom.”

Andrew Marshall is a Vietnam Veteran; he’s suffering from the effects of Agent Orange. His cancer is back for a second time, however, that isn’t stopping him from attending the ceremony at Woodlawn National Cemetery. He’s been coming to the ceremony every year since 1980, “…a man is never dead until he’s forgotten, and I have too many friends here that I went to school with that I’ll never forget, and I come for them and the rest of them as well.”