DAPHNE – While COVID-19 precautions changed some commemoration plans, Eastern Shore communities recognized the service and sacrifices of local veterans during Veterans Day activities on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
In Daphne, the city moved its prayer service from Daphne High School to a smaller ceremony at City Hall. The event was sent out over the city’s website and social media instead of inviting local veterans and residents to come together in a crowded setting, Mayor Robin LeJeune said.
“We did want to recognize Veterans Day in a small way that we could as a city,” LeJeune said. “It’s such as major part of our community, a very honored part of this community. The importance of recognizing the sacrifices that our veterans have made for our country remains, especially through the times that we are in now, the difficulty that as we all are having to make sacrifices, we can look to our veterans for how we can handle sacrifice ourselves in the sacrifices they and their families have made for our country and for us.”
During the Daphne service, Richie Nobles, pastor of Crossroads Church in Belforest, said that in the Book of Matthew, Christ says that he did not come to be served, but to serve and sacrifice for others.
“That’s at the heart of every veteran. That’s why you enter the service. You enter because you want to give your life for your country and I honor those that are active today and honor those that have retired and honor those that served for a time, like myself,” Nobles, who served in the Army before completing his seminary training, said.
In Fairhope, the city canceled its annual Veterans Day Parade as a precaution against spreading the coronavirus. The city held a small service Wednesday afternoon on the bluffs at Henry George Park.
The city also recognized the Fairhope Veteran of the Year during the week. Harry “Chief” Cichowski was the honoree for 2020. Cichowski, 91, served 30 years in the US Navy on eight different ships during three wars, World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
He is a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5660 in Fairhope.
“He has a long, distinguished resume of service to our country,” Mayor Sherry Sullivan said presenting Cichowski with the award. “And we so appreciate you and appreciate the VFW for nominating you and for your service to our country and to our community.”
Cichowski said he was pleased with the recognition by the community and his fellow VFW members.
“I want to thank you all, especially my friends at the VFW 5660,” he said. They’re very nice people and I appreciate everything they’ve done and I’m happy and glad. I enjoyed my service as a corpsman. I patched them back up and let them get back to battle.”