In honor of Veterans Day, community members gathered on the Square on November 11 to thank veterans for their service and sacrifice.
“When we celebrate Veterans Day, we are remembering all veterans who have honorably served from the American Revolution to the present and their sacrifices,” said Mike Warren, retired Army veteran. “People sleep soundly in their beds because of the willingness of veterans who have sacrificed their own comforts and, sometimes their own lives, to protect and defend our fellow Americans. Thank you, fellow veterans, for your service, for ensuring our freedoms and safeguarding our way of life.”
Marine Corps Veteran C.J. Trent spoke to the audience about the challenges active and retired military face, including suicide both during and after service.
“It’s unfortunate that we have veterans each day that a lot of people don’t know about who commit suicide. There’s 22 veterans every day that die because they can’t handle the pressure when they come home. We have one serviceman every day that does the same,” said Trent.
Days such as Veterans Day are important for reminding our military that we stand behind them, support them and thank them for their sacrifice. Trent encouraged those in the audience to thank veterans every day, not just once a year.
“Say hello to a veteran. Tell them that you’re honored they wanted to give their life for your country,” continued Trent. “Stand up for them. Don’t kneel next to someone, stand. We’re a country that stands together, not kneels.”
Also present at the ceremony were the future of America’s military, the Knox JROTC. This group of young men and women are proudly trained by Anthony Parsons, a veteran himself. They presented the colors and held a moment of silence for each military branch before dismissal.