Family and friends, veterans and current members of the U.S. armed forces, huddled together under umbrellas during an emotional and moving event on …
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Family and friends, veterans and current members of the U.S. armed forces, huddled together under umbrellas during an emotional and moving event on Saturday.
As music from the El Jebel Shrine Pipes and Drums band drifted through the air, attendees waved their miniature American flags and paid tribute to all those who have served and are currently serving in each of the nation’s service branch areas during the Armed Forces Day ceremony on May 19 in Westminster. It was a time for the community to give a deserved thank you to the men and women who serve in the United States armed forces.
The ceremony took place at the Armed Forces Tribute Garden, 6001 W. 104th Ave. The garden was completed in 2008 and is dedicated those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines. The garden features engraved brick pavers and plaques purchased by family members and friends to honor the commitment and patriotism of the men and women who have served or are serving in the armed forces.
The Armed Forces Tribute Garden recognizes more than 1,100 people, including the 85 new people recognized during the Saturday ceremony. Anyone interested in purchasing an engraved brick paver or plaque to honor a loved one can call 303-658-2192 or visit the city’s website at www.ci.westminster.co.us.
“We gather here today to pay tribute to the men and women who have served our country,” said Westminster Mayor Nancy McNally. “Some of those have lost their lives doing so, and today we honor them. Their sacrifice has been enormous, and we are eternally grateful. We also recognize and thank the families who have also give so much and endured much sacrifice.”
Keynote speaker was retired Sgt. Major Ray Esslinger. He joined the Marine Corps in 1983 and retired in August 2004 after 21 years of active duty. He is currently a Westminster senior police officer in the canine unit. He reminded the audience of the sacrifices men and women in the armed forces make to protect the nation’s freedom. Esslinger described these individuals as the best-trained people capable of taking the responsibility of securing the nation’s freedom, future peace stability, prosperity and justice.
“Whether serving on the ground, in the air or at sea, or serving overseas or at home, their sacrifice and unflinching willingness to put service before self is truly extraordinary,” he said “We are here to honor these extraordinary people and thank them for the sacrifices they endure so the rest of us can live freely.”
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