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Greenwich Honors Vets on the Ave

Greenwich residents, police, town representatives, Boy Scouts and others celebrated Veterans Day together at the World War I monument in front of the post office on Greenwich Avenue. "I can tell you firsthand, having the honor to wear the uniform of a United States Marine and receiving packages and letters in the deserts of Iraq, there is no better feeling than knowing the people back home support you and what you're defending," veteran Chris Hughes said. "Veterans Day not only honors veterans, it honors all Americans who support our military."

The Greenwich Police Department color guard stood at attention as members of the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich honor guard, led by senior member Noelle Valentine, raised the American flag. As chaplain for the event, Cantor Asa Fradkin of Temple Sholom asked for God's blessing upon America and its leaders to banish hatred and safeguard ideals and institutions that nurture liberty.

The event was dedicated to a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Cpl. Jason L. Dunham of the U.S. Marine Corps. Cpl. Staff Sgt. Jonah Acox, a Marine, read Dunham's citation. In April 2004, Dunham's squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in Iraq when it heard rocket-propelled grenades. Dunham ordered his squad to dismount vehicles and led a team on foot toward an ambush convoy when an insurgent released a grenade.

"Aware of the imminent danger and without hesitation, Corporal Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the explosion and shielding his Marines from the blast in an ultimate and selfless act of bravery," Acox read.

Dunham, a native of Scio, N.Y., died of his injuries eight days later.

During the event, Erf Porter of Greenwich American Legion Post #29 introduced state Rep. Livvy Floren to present teen Rebecca Schreff of Cos Cob with the Greenwich 2010 "Young Person of the Year" award.

The ceremony concluded with the presentation of a memorial wreath by Acox and the Police Explorers while the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets fired a 21-gun salute.

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