Veterans Day Ceremony Held at College Green

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Veterans and supporters did their best to ignore a lone protester at the Veterans Day ceremony on College Green this morning.

"He had the right to do it. Period. Innapropriate timing but its his right," said Joe Mulligan, commander of the Albany chapter of Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The veterans remained calm and composed as the man stood in front of the podium with a sign that read, "VFW, Liars, Biggots."

Carol Samborn, an auxilary member of VFW, and a wife of a veteran, tried to remove the sign from the protestors hand during the ceremony, but was stopped by police, who told her the man had the right to do it.

"You know, I think everybody has the right to voice their opinion and stuff, but this wasn't the day for it and I just didn't want the sign to be there. And that was my intent, to get the sign out of his hand," Samborn said.

But the dissent of one man didn't stop the ceremony, and didn't break the spirits of the veterans and their many supporters on this special day.

Mayor Paul Wiehl spoke and marching bands played. Schoolchildren of all ages and families withstood the chilly morning to honor the veterans.

Joe Mulligan served in numerous tours including Germany during the Cold War, and in Iraq during Desert Storm and said being a veteran means service.

"Thirty years in and out of the army serving the country. Having seen different countries that don't have the freedom of speech, movement, thought, and it's great to live here," Mulligan said.

After taps was played and flowers were laid on the Civil War memorial, the veterans were greeted with hugs, smiles and gratitude for their years of service.

Mulligan said the best way to thank a veteran is to simply say, "Thank you."