WESTPORT—The Westport Town Hall auditorium was flooded with people from all backgrounds showing their support for military veterans.

The celebration marks the 97th year, since President Woodrow Wilson started the tradition in 1919, veterans were honored for their service to the country. A great deal of gratitude for the veteran’s sacrifices was given by those who spoke.

“We ask for healing for the veterans who have been wounded in body and soul in conflicts around the world,” said Scott Tilton, director of family and children’s ministries at St. Paul Westport. “We pray especially for the young men and women coming home from duty with injured bodies and traumatized spirits.”

First Selectman Jim Marpe said that despite the harsh political climate of the Nov. 8 presidential election, he finds solace in the service and dedication to the country to protect the democracy.

“It is that democracy that our veterans fought to maintain and protect, and which our military services continue to protect every day,” he said.

Despite our raucous disagreements, our outrage and despair over the problems that our nation needs to address, and our worrisome inability at times to quickly step out of a quagmire and into meaningful action,” Marpe said. “It is that democracy which makes us such an extraordinary country.”

Spencer Daniels, a Staples High School senior who is deciding between attending the United States Military Academy and the United States Merchant Marine Academy, said his great grandfather, a veteran, instilled into him the values that made him want to serve the country. Daniels added that 12 Staples seniors have made the decision to serve in the military in some capacity.

@chrismmarquette; cmarquette@bcnnew.com