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For Armistice Day, Syracuse remembers lost lives and supports the veterans with us

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John Smith / WAER News
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People gather at Billings Park in Syracuse in observance of Armistice Day.

The Central New York community gathered at Billings Park in Syracuse to celebrate Armistice Day.

About 50 individuals of all ages were present to ring bells at precisely 11 a.m. to bring awareness to those who lost their lives in U.S. fought wars and the importance of offering alternatives.

Dr. Bill Cross, who is a veteran himself, ran his own medical practice in Albany for several years but has also been a Syracuse resident for some time now.

He saluted the governmental and local organizations supporting veterans beyond the VA Medical Center and Veterans Center.

"...Wounded Warrior Project, Red White and Blue Teams, Disabled American Veterans, VFW, American Legion, and many religious institutions," Cross said. "But we do need more. Someone once asked me, 'how can we help vets?' I had a one-word answer: Listen."

Organizer Ron Van Norstrand said celebrating veterans differs from Armistice Day's meaning.

"Although we have parades and we have celebrations like at the War Memorial now, but that really doesn't help them with the needs that they have," Norstrand said.

Presenters at the ceremony mentioned the long-term costs of war, such as homelessness and lack of income, and how many veterans now suffer from permanent injuries and mental health issues like PTSD. Norstrand said these issues leave everlasting scars on not just veterans but, society itself.

"Lifelong scars for the people, and lifelong scars on the environment, on the Earth," Norstrand said. "And, we have to remember Dr. King's warning or his statement. 'It's no longer a choice between non-violence and violence. It's non-violence or non-existence.'"

Norstrand continues his fight to end wars and support veterans in navigating life after service.

Isabel Flores is a graduate student studying Broadcast and Digital Journalism at Syracuse University’s S.I. School of Public Communications, expected to graduate in May of 2023. As a multimedia reporter, she helps to present as well as produce audio and digital content for WAER. In her free time, Isabel enjoys working out and listening to all genres of music.
John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.