FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — North Country veterans were honored by those who have a humble understanding of service, as Fort Drum held its annual Veterans Day ceremony on Thursday.

Standing at the foot of the Military Mountaineers Monument in Fort Drum’s Memorial Park, 10th Mountain Division Commanding General Major General Gregory Anderson led the ceremony with a speech dedicated to veterans of all ranks and units.

“Notice while they’re different in their uniform, they’re not different in their purpose,” MG Anderson said of the attending servicemembers.

MG Anderson introduced the crowd to Retired Command Sergeant Major David Martel, a former 10th Mountain Division senior enlisted advisor and the ceremony’s guest speaker.

CSM(R) Martel shared his story and spoke about the importance of honoring service.

“On Veterans Day, we recognize the service but also the friendship and bonds that are forged during service and the devotion to something bigger than ourselves,” Martel said.

As a 32-year Army veteran, Martel served in soldier and leadership positions all over the world. He stressed that behind every uniform is a story to be shared by a soldier.

“Get to know that veteran in your office or in your community. To paraphrase a quote, they know a thing or two because they’ve seen a thing or two. It’s all about making our Army and our community a better place,” Martel said.

Active-duty soldiers paid tribute to their fellow veterans at the ceremony, including 10th Combat Aviation Brigade Command Sergeant Rodolfo Lopez.

“I’ve been serving for 29 years already. The Army is my family, so I’m here to support my family, my veterans and future veterans of the United States of America,” CMS Lopez said.

The ceremony was closed by a playing of taps and a 21-gun salute after 10th Mountain Division leaders placed a wreath at the Mountaineers Monument to remember the fallen and remind veterans that they are leading the next generation.

“When I look at our 10th Mountain Memorial, that says it all about veterans and what veterans do for us,” MG Anderson said.