U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Reginald Richardson, left, salutes the flag at Fair Haven’s Veteran’s Day ceremony. Richardson, who’s stationed at Fort Monmouth, was the ceremony’s keynote speaker on Wednesday. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi)

There’s more than one way to give thanks to a military veteran, says U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Reginald Richardson.

The obvious one is simply to say, “Thank you.” But if you truly appreciate the freedom that servicemen and servicewomen afford you, then you have to show it in your everyday life, says Richardson, the keynote speaker at Fair Haven’s Veteran’s Day ceremony.

fh-vetsOnlookers at Wednesday’s ceremony on River Road. (Click to enlarge)

“Live life to the fullest and cherish freedom,” Richardson said, then went on suggest ways to do so. “Vote in every election, volunteer your time to the community, help those less fortunate and mentor children.”

Dozens of locals, young and old, came out for the annual ceremony, which included a special appearance from the Knollwood and Sickles schools students, who led in the opening flag salute and played a rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.” The ceremony also included a moment of silence not only for the borough and nation’s veterans who sacrificed their lives, but also for the victims of last week’s Fort Hood shooting.

Mayor Michael Halfacre reminded the crowd that there’s a reason many people get the day off from work and school on Veteran’s Day, and it’s not to catch up on chores or find a shopping sale.

“We observe Veteran’s Day for only a few minutes it seems,” Halfacre said. “It’s a day where we recall that we are faced with a great responsibility. We must remember the sacrifice. We must constantly strive to remember.