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VFW Post 3208 Veteran's Day Memorial Service
Sunday, Nov. 9th, 2008
On a beautiful autumn day with an occasional
breeze blowing, members of the Sierra Madre Harry L. Embree VFW Post 3208 held a
service to remember veterans, particularly those of Sierra Madre, who offered
themselves in military service to the United States. After brief remarks
by Bud Switzer, remembering his late friend
The speakers for the day were WWII veterans Bill Newbery and Gordon Caldwell. Mayor Kurt Zimmerman also spoke to the crowd, which included City Council members John Buchanan and Don Watts. Council members Joe Mosca and Maryann MacGillivray did not attend.
Newbery also had a display before and after the ceremony that included vintage WWII era memorabilia, ranging from mess equipment to rifles to grenades, a Czech handgun, and a shadowbox filled with numerous awards he received for his service. Newbery discussed his service in the European theater, including the Battle of the Bulge.
Caldwell spoke about
his time on the USS Saratoga,
Mayor Zimmerman spoke after the two veterans, and you can view his speech below. I have some video of the veterans speaking, as well, but it's going to take some time to get that edited to make it usable.
The ceremony was interrupted when a partygoer at the pergola required paramedic service. During the commotion, the sound system became unplugged. It seemed that the gods were conspiring to keep the audience from hearing the veteran's message, as during the event, in addition to the sirens from the paramedics, a car alarm went off, the church bells tolled, and there was a flyover by a large contingent of squawking parrots. But the veterans "soldiered" on, and the crowd received a reminder of why the WWII generation is known as the greatest generation.
After making some brief remarks about his friend Grijalva, Joe Echeverria concluded the ceremony by leading the crowd in singing God Bless America. Following the ceremony, refreshments were served in the Senior Center.
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