Heidi Bunch photos
Ken Carrothers, commander of America Legion 19 in Hawthorne spoke to those in attendance at Monday’s Veterans Day ceremony.
Chaplain Kay “Ben” Benscoter gave the prayer at the event at Veterans Park.

“So to those who came before me. To those whom I had the privilege to serve with. And to those who have followed. Thank you for your selfless service as today we honor those who have worn our nation’s uniform,” Commander Ken Carrothers, American Legion Post 19 told those who were attendance of the Veterans Day service on Monday.

The history of Veterans Day was told by Larry Cruz, commander’s representative of Hawthorne Army Depot. “Armistice Day began as a remembrance of all those American service members who died in WWI and it celebrated the armistice agreement signed on November 11, 1918, in France. The agreement took place at eleven o’clock in the morning and ended hostilities on the Western Front. Thus, our reasoning for having this event commence at eleven o’clock this morning. The very first Armistice day, later to become Veteran’s Day, was observed in a solemn fashion with performances by military bands in cities and military posts across the U.S.”

His remarks would go on about the celebration of the holiday, “The commemoration of Veteran’s Day has evolved over generations and over the course of our Nation’s wars. Today, Veteran’s Day has become less quiet and grander: part reflection and part celebration. On this day, we recognize that today’s veterans of our Nation’s wars – WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Shield/ Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan – all share the same blood, the same sacrifice, and the same pride in all they have done to secure our Nations freedom.”

Former VFW Commander-in-Chief John Stroud, a Hawthorne resident and member of John Franklin Shain VFW 2313 hosted the event. He spoke of the VFW’s accomplishments in helping the military during war times and veterans afterwards.

“There is a common bond that exists between the men and women who have shared the military experience. There exists a shared sense of duty and a common belief in a cause higher than self; Our nation’s veterans chose to serve and by doing so, assumed all the risks associated with maintaining freedom.”

“There also exists a shared intensity of dedication to the idea of freedom and to the ideals of democracy. There is an understanding and respect for each other, because each realizes that they have contributed to the greater good, and there is an understanding and shared knowledge of the value of their deeds. They understand the true essence of America.”

“God bless you all for being here. And God bless these United States,” Carrothers concluded.