Breakfast on Veterans Day for those who served the nation was one of several events scheduled yesterday at American Legion Post 14, 417 E. Ivinson St., and despite COVID-19, turnout was more than anticipated, according to Post Commander Vanessa Stuart.

While breakfast started being served beginning at 6 a.m., attendance began building as the morning wore on.

“It’s only 8 a.m., and we’re starting to get people in,” said Stuart, who served in the U.S. Army from 1989-2013. “It’s more than I expected.”

Even so, there was plenty of food hot and ready, thanks in no small measure to Vice Commander Jennifer Clark, also a U.S. Army veteran and served from 1995-2013. Unless otherwise asked, she and several others working in the kitchen loaded heaping portions of biscuits with sausage gravy, and large slices of quiche topped with thick slices of bacon, as well as other breakfast foods — and plenty of coffee.

Like Stuart, Clark too was pleased by those veterans, some with their spouses, coming in to enjoy the repast.

“This is a good turnout, despite COVID,” Clark said. “They’re all in good spirits.”

The camaraderie was unmistakable, with good-natured joshing among friends. Yet it did not detract from the somber yet subdued celebratory nature of the occasion, that what was once known as Armistice Day — which marked the occasion of the end of World War I, in which at 11 a.m., on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the war was officially over — became known as Veterans Day in 1954 to honor those who had served in all military conflicts.

There was that humble sense of pride from all present.

“It’s always a big day for me,” said Aaron Lozano, who served in the U.S. Army from 2001-13. He is also the coach of the Legion’s baseball team. “I would also say it’s important to me.” He added that a number of relatives in his family had served over the decades, and that a brother-in-law currently serves.

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