Catalina Island

Sheriff’s Veteran’s Day Open House

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On Veteran’s Day, approximately one-hundred members of the community attended the Sheriff’s Open House.  Participating in the event were all of Avalon’s First Responders. Aside from getting the opportunity to take a tour of the Sheriff’s Station and check-out our First Responders’ vehicles, everyone in attendance got the opportunity to thank our Veterans on this special day.

Veterans’ Day in Avalon was filled with activity. The VFW not only had their regular services at Avalon’s Veteran’s Memorial Park. But they added a early morning Fishing Derby. Both were popular events, The ceremony at Veterans Park featured a speeches by students and also by Ralph Morrow.

Ralph’s speech:
Veteran’s Day 2015
By Ralph Morrow

One year after World War I drew to a close, President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11, 1919 as Armistice Day – a national holiday to celebrate victory in “the war to end all wars.”

This tradition began, as Armistice Day, to recognize those who died fighting in the First World War. Congress broadened the scope of this recognition in 1954 to honor all veterans and called it Veteran’s Day.

What is Veteran’s Day?

Arguably, it is our most important national holiday. Without our Veterans, there is no Independence Day. Every freedom we enjoy in this country is bought and paid for by Veterans. Every right assured in our Constitution and Bill of Rights was paid for and assured by our Veterans.

Veteran’s Day is first and foremost about brave Americans in uniform. It is the soldier who gave his life at Bunker Hill in 1776, and all those from that fateful day till now, the American Veteran is still fighting for the freedoms many of us take for granted.

They are fighting to preserve a world free from tyranny and oppression, free from discord and hate, free from want and fear and free from the cowardly acts of terror that, sadly, seem to have become a daily occurrence.

This is a essence of which I speak – brave young men and women – many of whom we have known, who have fought and died that we might live in peace. They are what gives Veteran’s Day its sum and substance, its spirit, its meaning.

This holiday affords us the opportunity to remember ourselves in the best possible light. Brave, honorable, courageous, selfless, strong and respectful. Strong words on their own. every trait we want the world and ourselves to see. Each of these qualities is embodied in our Veterans. You represent the best we hope to be.

Because of the ongoing world wide war against terrorists, this Veterans Day is different from previous years. The events since the attack on our nation gave rise to a new appreciation for those in serving their country in uniform.

Since that 11th day in September, Americans young an old alike have instinctively turned to our military as the source of national strength and pride.

But even in times of national crisis, we sometimes overlook the sacrifices of those who came before us. Today the nation pauses to honor those who came before and renew our hope for those who will be placed in harms way in the future.

Because of the constant bombardment of the sanitized images from the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world, the people are receiving an often manipulated image of what war is really about.

Those standing here today are first hand witnesses to the horror that is war. The brutal and final consequences of the decisions of our leaders are paid for in american blood, Blood spilled on often forgotten places around the world by our youth.

Recently, we have seen several incidents in Iraq that remind us that the uneasy peace so many have sacrificed to achieve can become deadly in an instant. Americans stand in harms way every day in countless locations around the world. Each of them aware of the possible consequences of standing their post.

General Eisenhower told troops about to storm the deadly beaches at Normandy, “You are about to embark on a great crusade. The eyes of the world are upon you. the hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”

Today, i am in the company of servicemen and women who have at one time subordinated their own personal interests to the life-threatening responsibility of wearing the uniform and serving their country.

Saying goodbye to family. Being placed in harm’s way. Not knowing when, or if, they’re coming home. Still, they all answered the call.

We stand in awe of those who have stood a post. Those who have manned the walls that protect democracy and freedom and pay honor to those who have faced down the evil intentions of those who would destroy us and our way of life.

One very solemn tradition is to never leave a fallen comrade behind on the field of battle. Today, we honor those who have served and those who have fallen by paying respect to their memories. To remember, is to never leave them behind.

To each and every Veteran here today, walk a little straighter, stand a little taller, be proud.  Help us remember your own sacrifices and those of comrades in arms unable to be here today.

No matter your station in life, your personal successes or failures, know that you have earned, at roo often a great cost, the solemn respect and appreciation of a nation often too preoccupied to notice.

Therefore, let us all never forget their valor, their commitment to duty, their love of country and as we honor their memories and bestow upon them and every one who has or continues to serve America our deepest and most sincere appreciation and respect.

For those of you who are younger and looking for your path through this world consider this: with very few exceptions, every man in my life whom I have grown to respect, those who have taught me the lessons of honor, responsibility, respect, and duty to community and family had on thing in common. they were all veterans. They say, you are often judged by the company you keep. I can’t think of a better group to stand with.

Decide today what kind of citizen you want to be. Talking to some of the Veterans here today would be a good start. The responsibility to preserve this nation and what it represents rest upon you now. We know you will do us proud.

Pray that our children will be stronger than we were. Pray that they should be more honorable than we were. Pray that they should make the world a safer place than we have.

In closing, I would just like to add that this day gives me the assurance that America is in good hands and will continue to be the great leader among nations. Duty, Honor, and this great country of ours, it is truly a great feeling to be an American, God Bless America and thank god for the American Veteran.