Nearly 100 people honored our country’s service men and women at Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City for the Veterans Day Ceremony 2014 Tuesday.
Local leaders, students and neighbors recognized the commitments and sacrifices of our heroes through song, prayer, a flag and color guard salute.
“If you look around there’s people here who’ve gone through war and hard times,” said 13-year-old Andrew Nielsen. “You have to support them because they’ve gone through hard times and be glad they fought for all of us.”
Col. Tom Henry will be 88 years old this month. He moved to Palm Springs after serving more than 30 years in the military.
“I went in the military in 1944. I was drafted in WWII,” said Henry.
Albert Martinez served two years in Frankfurt, Germany, during the Cold War.
“I was drafted when I was 18. When I came out of basic training I was a man,” said Martinez, of Palm Springs.
For some veterans, it’s a day to reflect.
“I think we have an appreciation that’s a little bit deeper because sometimes they may have saved my life or I may have save theirs.”
“It’s important for all of us to celebrate it because these men and women fought for our country,” said Lupe DeLeon from Cathedral City.
The flags that lined the memorial park during the ceremony were donated by local families of fallen heroes to pay tribute for their service.
“Veterans Day means we have a responsibility. Those of us who lost friends in Vietnam and Korea, I don’t want those people to have died in vain. That meant something to me,” said Henry.
“That’s the horrors and cost of war, but it’s one ideal, democracy and live free,” said Martinez.
“Thank you. Thank you for giving your life, your dedication and for your willingness to put your life on the line to give us the freedom we have,” said DeLeon.