Brigadier General David Wood checks out the new plaque during the Veterans Day ceremony in the plaza at Lancaster County Government Center in Lancaster on Sunday, November 11, 2018.

Exactly 100 years after the end of World War I, in the same eleventh hour of the day that marked the cease-fire, Lancaster County officials unveiled a new symbol to commemorate the historic moment.

In Veterans Plaza outside the Lancaster County Government Building in the city, the three county commissioners and Mayor Danene Sorace were joined by veterans and first responders to reveal a new plaque and remember those who fought a century ago.

“They went through the exact same experience that we’ve gone through,” Commissioner Josh Parsons, a former Army infantry captain, said while recounting the story of a Lancaster lawyer and soldier who died in France during the first World War.

“They were real people, and they were servants to our country and to Lancaster County,” he said.

Sorace, speaking to the few veterans gathered in the plaza on a cold Sunday morning, thanked them for their service to “make this world a better place, to remind us that lady justice stands for something.”

And Brigadier General David Wood, a Manheim Township resident who is the director of joint staff at the Joint Force Headquarters in Annville, spoke of the Harrisburg-based 28th infantry division that suffered nearly 15,000 casualties in the war.

“Pennsylvania truly made pivotal contributions to ending this war to end all wars,” said Wood, who served in Afghanistan and during Operation Desert Storm in the first Gulf War.

“And of course the Great War was not our last war,” he said. “In every era since, freedom has been threatened and new generations of veterans are made. In another World War, in the Korean War, in Vietnam, in the Persian Gulf, in the Gulf War. We continued to fight tyrants. We continued to fight totalitarianism. We continued to fight terrorism.”

He said it was important to remember the fallen, the prisoners of war and those who survive with “scars that we may never know.”

The new plaque, dedicated “in honor of Lancaster County veterans for their service during World War I,” is located on one of the brick pillars in the plaza at the corner of Queen and Chestnut streets.

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