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Veterans Day Celebration 2022

By Claudia Cecilia
Staff Writer
11/16/2022 at 04:56 PM

On November 11th, 2022, the Foundation of Grand Terrace and the Veterans Wall of Freedom Committee hosted a Veterans Day Ceremony dedicated to the Veterans not only in Grand Terrace but from all around.   

The event took place at Veterans Freedom Park with the Freedom Wall as the main focal point. The program was led by Larry Edmunson, an Air Force Veteran, and had featured speakers with speeches from the Mayor of Grand Terrace Darcy McNaboe, councilmen William “Bill” Hussey, and Suzanne Santoya, daughter of Purple Heart Recipient Socorro Rosales. The event was in full attendance as many gathered to pay respect to those who have and are still actively serving our country.

An opening speech by the Foundation of Grand Terrace President, Renae Walker, described the Freedom Wall as, “a beautiful monument as a focal point for our ceremony today and a reminder to thank our Veterans who have worked to protect our freedom.”

Mayor McNaboe was quoted saying, “Our Veterans are our dignitaries today. The City of Grand Terrace is very grateful for our Veterans. This memorial is here all year long to remind us that we have freedom, freedom to assemble. That is the freedom that our Veterans have fought to maintain and continue to maintain. The current Veterans Freedom Wall committee, they are doing the important job of keeping this alive when we can have wonderful ceremonies like this for both Veterans Day and Memorial Day. To all of you being here thank you for being here and showing your respect and support.”

A speech followed by Suzanne Santoya, who is the daughter of Purple Heart Recipient, Socorro Rosales. She shared her father’s story as a World War II Purple Veteran saying, “My dad was given the following medals: Brown Star Medal, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one Bronze Service Star, World War II Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge First Award, Honorable Service Lapel Button World War II, and Marksman Badge with Carbine Bar. I once said, ‘Dad you’re my hero.’ And he quickly said, ‘No I am not the Hero… It’s the men who didn’t come back that are the Heroes.’”

Councilmen William “Bill” Hussey recounted his journey as a Marine, “It was our biggest memory signing on that dotted line of when we were drafted. If you ask a veteran-no matter how old or how crippled- if our country called on you today, I guarantee you that Veteran will go. They will go no matter what. Why? Because we love this country. When we raised our hand and took that oath, it wasn’t just for four years, two years, or one year, it was for life. And that oath will never be given up. In closing, I just want to thank all the Veterans and before I do that, I want to make it official as being in office to welcome the Veterans home and for the men and women who are serving right now in harm’s way in foreign countries or even here on our shores, one day you’ll be home and ill welcome you.”

The ceremony ended with three performances by the Dance Dimensions Performing Arts where the crowd applauded the dancers.

 

After the program was over, many gathered by the Freedom Wall to see their loved ones honored on plaques. In conclusion, the day and event hosted were to celebrate and honor the men and women who have fought to protect us and our country.

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