In Westport, Veterans Day is a sorta holiday.
There’s a very moving, middlingly attended ceremony at Town Hall. Staples students — who are in school that day — honor veterans through interviews on the morning TV show, hearing speakers in assemblies or (this year) a Social Studies Honor Society project: hallway posters with photos and text describing family members’ service.
Banks, the post office and the bond market are closed. Many offices and the stock market are open.
In an effort to move the needle of awareness about the day, Westporter Adam Vengrow has helped organize a Catch a Lift event for the evening of Wednesday, November 11 (7 p.m., Birchwood Country Club).
“Every year I sit at the service in Town Hall wondering what would I do if my freedom, or the freedom of my kids, friends or family, was in jeopardy,” Vengrow says.
“What if I was asked to serve? What if we lived through another draft? Duty, honor, courage, commitment, integrity, country and service are words that very special heroes live by.
“It’s our job to protect the people who make those words their lives. We live in the best country in the world, and one of the best parts of this country as well. We all have many wonderful things to be thankful for.”
The Catch a Lift Fund was formed by Lynn Coffland. Her brother — Corporal Chris Coffland — volunteered after 9/11. In 2009 he was killed in Afghanistan. Catch a Lift provides gym memberships and home gym equipment to help wounded post-9/11 service members heal mentally and physically, through physical fitness.
Coffland, her father and several World Trade Center responders, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and Purple Heart recipients are flying in for the event. They’ll talk inspiringly about the nearly 2500 veterans who are getting back on their feet, thanks to Catch a Lift.
There’s beer and wine too.
But the most important part of the evening is the chance to honor and meet those who have served — whether you have Veterans Day off, or not.
(For more information on the Catch a Lift event — including tickets and donations — click here.)