By Stuart Ibberson, editor
Unlike previous years, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Lancaster Cemetery to mark Veterans Day 2020 with a virtual ceremony.
The video program opened and closed with Toby Keith’s American Soldier, and The Cactus Cuties sang the National Anthem.
Dave Owens, chairman of the board of trustees of the Lancaster Cemetery District, welcomed everyone to the presentation.
Messages honoring those who served, and those who currently serve followed.
“I come from a military background through nearly every war and conflict, from the Revolutionary War to my mom and dad in World War II and Korea, my husband in Vietnam, and to my nephew who served with the 101st Airborne in Desert Storm,” said Dayle Debry, Cemetery District Manager. “I have the utmost respect for the men and women who served, and we will always honor all veterans at the Lancaster Cemetery. Thank you for your service.”
The cemetery is the final resting place for more than 1,000 veterans.
Taking time to honor our nations’ veterans included U.S. Rep. Mike Garcia, Palmdale Mayor Steven Hofbauer, Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris, Sylvia Rose Morago-Gaxiola, Dennis Anderson, Bob Alvis, and Ida Ketchum.
Anderson wished “all my veteran brothers and sisters a worthwhile Veterans Day; one you can reflect on service and how happy we are to have served.”
Alvis reminded everyone watching of the sacrifices veterans make. “We celebrate and honor the sacrifices of our veterans, and remember those sacrifices of generations of veterans, and those who serve today.”
And Ketchum explained that she comes from a long line of veterans, including her great-great uncle “who was the first person to receive the Medal of Honor posthumously during the Civil War.”
The presentation concluded with a thanks to the volunteers who had taken the time to place a U.S. flag on the grave or marker of all the veterans interred at the cemetery. Those volunteers are: Kimberly Sparks, Blue Star Mothers; Vickie Fisher, Chris Horne and Tom Horne, AV Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution; Patty Brandt, Jackie and Arianna Becerra, Leona and Eric Bull, Bristol Hospice; Kelly O’Dell representing the F-35 Lightning Royal Air Force Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base; Colleen and Dakota Metzger; and the grounds crew at the cemetery.
“To those who have served and those still serving, we salute you, but most of all, we thank you,” said R. Rex Parris.