The 13th annual Veterans Day Ceremony was held at the Wrightwood Veterans Memorial Park on Friday, November 11th. Community members gathered in front of the memorial at 11:00 am to honor Veterans.
The ceremony began with a heartwarming performance by students from Wrightwood Elementary School who sang patriotic songs and then handed out “thank you” cards to all veterans and military service members in attendance. The Armistice-Peace Bell was then struck 11 times by Jon Mosley, which signifies the signing of the “armistice” that ended World War I, followed by a performance of the national anthem beautifully sung by Claudia Campbell. At the same time, the local Boy Scout troop presented the colors. The musical performances continued with the Serrano High School Jazz Band. The ensemble performed an Armed Forces Medley, which included songs from each military branch. Veterans, current servicemen, and women were asked to stand when they heard the song for the branch they served.
After the jazz band’s performance, gifts were presented to Veterans Victor and Ray from the Quilts of Valor organization which honors Veterans by awarding them with handmade patriotic quilts. Quilters from the organization stated, “Victor and Ray, you are being given this quilt of valor because you’ve chosen to serve your country. We applaud you, and we hope to honor you with this quilt. Please remember that this quilt is meant to convey comfort and appreciation for your sacrifice to your country. Each stitch has been loving sewn to demonstrate the high esteem in which you are held. Just as you have given your country the gift of freedom by serving in the military, we present this quilt on behalf of the Quilts of Valor Foundation. We thank you for your service and your sacrifice.”
Veterans were also honored and remembered with the placement of bricks that were added to the Honor Bricks Courtyard. A total of 37 names were read aloud by Captain Tom and Lora Steinmann and included a diverse range of service members. Including soldiers who fought in WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, and even the Revolutionary War. Special recognition was given to one brick, in particular, for Carl B. Smith, who served in the US Air Force and so happens to be one of the original founding members of the Wrightwood Veterans Memorial Committee.
Wrightwood Veterans Memorial President, Allan Miller, announced the special guest of honor, Hank Hallmark. Hallmark is a Cold War veteran, a longtime Wrightwood resident, and a founding member of the Wrightwood Veterans Memorial Committee. Miller stated, “A lot of folks may not be familiar or have forgotten about the Cold War veterans who have served our county so well for years and years of Soviet aggression. And they managed to detour that aggression, so we commend Mr. Hallmark for his service.” Hallmark and the Girl Scout Troop laid a beautiful floral wreath at the memorial statue, and Pastor Dave Conrad gave a benediction from Wrightwood United Methodist Church, concluding the devout tribute to all Veterans.
Contact Wendi Schwab at 760-900-9004 if you would like to honor a loved Veteran by commemorating a brick at the Wrightwood Veterans Memorial.