November18

Veterans Day

By Tony Shepley

On Monday, November 11th, Veterans Day, we at Shepley had the pleasure of being a small part of the 7th Annual Veterans Day breakfasts in Falmouth and South Dennis. Well known restauranteurs Bill Zammer and his wife Linda, hosted hundreds and hundreds of veterans for a free breakfast at the Flying Bridge in Falmouth as a kickoff to the Veterans Day festivities in Falmouth. The event has gained such interest and momentum that last year, the Zammers extended the event to another family restaurants of theirs, Clancy’s Restaurant in South Dennis.

There were literally no open seats in the restaurant during this breakfast to honor US service veterans from all five branches of our military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard). Former Falmouth Chamber of Commerce CEO, Jay Zavala, was the absolute Master of Ceremonies, leading the festivities with wit, wisdom, and the depth of experience from a lot of years making things better for both Falmouth and Cape Cod. The event brings together veterans from WWII to the present, attracts most of our state and local politicians, offers up a variety of speakers, and brings people together to honor and celebrate their military service. WXTK brings in host Ed Lambert for an on location broadcast at the Flying Bridge and the event becomes a who’s who of Cape Cod.

Our country boasts the best and most technologically advanced fighting forces the world has ever known. Our military budget is $639 billion dollars or about 3.1% of our GDP vs second place China’s approximately $250 billion or about 1.9% of their GDP. No small potatoes when you realize we are talking about twelve digit sums spent annually! Our US military budget is greater than the next 9 countries’ military spending combined.

Although you can argue that we have been in one war or another for 100% of the 21st century, you can also quickly see the deterrent effect of our military in preventing a repeat of our two world wars of the last century and keeping in check the threat of nuclear annihilation. We live in a delicate world balance and in that world, size does matter!

When you think about the military history of our country, we traditionally pursued a strong isolationist path and literally found ourselves dragged into World Wars 1 and II by events such as the sinking of the Lusitania and Pearl Harbor. Although we weren’t looking for a fight, the fight did a good job of finding us. But without us involved, history would have a far different tale to tell than the tale we know. World War II really became the stage on which the US emerged as the world’s leading super power. Our presence was built on the incredible mobilization of manpower, the massive ramping up of our manufacturing and shipbuilding industries and one of the most amazing success stories of overcoming multiple enemies through guts, determination, and fighting spirit. Members of our Greatest Generation veterans are thinning out as they enter their mid to late 90’s from a war that ended for them 74 years ago, but they still come and they show the way for generations of military veterans who follow.

Huge thanks to the Zammers, the Flying Bridge, and Clancy’s for making a wonderful event to celebrate our veterans, each Veterans Day for these past 7 years and hopefully many more to come. Thanks to Sam and Judy Lorusso, Bob and Val Zammito, and the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce for their event sponsorship and to WXTK for getting the word out all around Southeastern MA with their live broadcast during the event. Most of all our thanks go out to our veterans who have given so much and asked for so little. We owe our way of life to our vets. Don’t let our gratitude show just one day a year, please thank a veteran every chance you get!

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