Veterans Day 2014 – We pause to thank vets; Bonus – the Editor learns a new thing

VetDay_2014_01Well, pre-Veterans Day, I guess, since the real deal is still two days away. I met a man today who gave me another insight into the service of veterans.

To the men and women of  VFW Post 3020 who have come to carry out honor guard duties, the deal is certainly real enough, as they again include Riverton War Memorial on their tour of duty for this beautiful Sunday morning.

As noted before here, this is only one of many stops the dedicated team will make as they perform at Veterans Day ceremonies in the area this week.

VetDay_2014_15Their members actually outnumbered the small group of civilians which had come acknowledge the sacrifice made by veterans to preserve our way of life and to witness the addition of three new names to the Riverton Honor Roll: Richard B. Frost-Army, Richard J. Laverty-Air Force, Alan Saville-Army.

For the relatives and friends who had come to witness those being inducted into the Riverton Honor Roll, it was a proud moment – certainly worth a photo-op.

clipping New Era, Aug 23, 1945At the conclusion of WWII, on August 23, 1945, Riverton’s hometown newspaper published a list of 32 names of area military personnel who “gave their lives for World Peace.”

The New Era article announced what the community already knew all too well, having endured five years of sending its young men and women to defend America:

Riverton, Palmyra, and Cinnaminson have contributed much in the blood of their sons to achieve the victory at which the Allied world rejoices.

That word – blood – followed by the long list of names, is a solemn reminder that many have paid the ultimate price for the freedom we enjoy today.

Richard B. Frost

At the end, I had the privilege of meeting a man who was one of the three men being added today. My friend, Don Dietz, introduced Richard B. Frost as an “Atomic Veteran.”

I did not know what that was.

Don explained (and I googled later) that according to the National Assn. of Atomic Veterans, atomic veterans are…

… members of the United States Armed Forces who participated in atmospheric and underwater nuclear weapons tests from 16 July, 1945 to 30 October 1962.

Since Congress repealed the Nuclear Radiation Secrecy Agreement Act in 1996, thus rescinding the Atomic Veteran secrecy oath, veterans may now tell of their participation in nuclear weapon testing without legal penalty. Don has suggested that we sit down with Mr. Frost and hear his story.

But just in case, keep that on the down low. You know – Loose lips…

If you have information or photos about a Riverton veteran that we could include here or in our Riverton Veterans Album, please let us know.

In closing, to all veterans and to the men and women of VFW Post 3020 , thank you for your service. – JMc


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John McCormick

Teacher at Riverton School 1974-2019, author, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member 2007-2023, newsletter editor 2007-2023, website editor 2011-2023

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