Henderson, NAFB commander honor local veterans

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U.S. Air Force photo by Lawrence Crespo
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U.S. Air Force retired Senior Master Sgt. Chester Stafford, World War II, Korean and Vietnam Wars veteran speaks with Col. Paul Murray, 99th Air Base Wing commander, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. at the City of Henderson Veterans Memorial Wall during a Veterans Day celebration, Nov. 5. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day, in order for Americans to pay homage to veterans of all foreign wars.

HENDERSON, Nev. — The City of Henderson, Nevada, held its annual Veterans Day ceremony at the amphitheater adjacent to the Veterans Memorial Wall at City Hall on Nov. 5.

During the ceremony, Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen and members from the City Council, along with keynote speaker Col. Paul J. Murray, 99th Air Base Wing commander, Nellis Air Force Base, paid tribute to all armed forces members present and past who served for the United States.

The Basic High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC cadets opened the ceremony by presenting the colors.

Hafen expressed gratitude to all who have served, local veterans groups, family members and community elected representatives who were in attendance.

“We are very proud to honor the brave men and women currently serving in the armed forces,” said Hafen. “Honoring our veterans is very important to the city, as most of you know Nevada is battle born. Henderson is battle born as well, it was founded in support of a massive U.S. War Department project during World War II [as the main supplier of magnesium] and ever since all veterans have had a special place in our hearts.”

President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed an Armistice Day celebration on Nov. 11, 1919, to commemorate the end of World War I. The date became a national holiday in 1938.

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day, in order for Americans to pay homage to the veterans of all foreign wars who have contributed and sacrificed to the preservation of the nation.

Col. Paul Murray, 99th Air Base Wing commander, Nellis Air Force Base and Mayor Andy Hafen Henderson, Nev. (back row) pose with Blue Star Mothers of Henderson, during the city’s official Veterans Day celebration, Nov. 5. Blue Star Mothers of America are mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, foster mothers and female legal guardians who have children serving in the military, guard or reserves, or children who are veterans.

Veterans Day recognizes all Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who served selflessly for the foundation of the U.S. with honor for purpose of the common good.

“Let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly on the seas, in the air and on foreign shores,” said Col. Murray quoting President Eisenhower’s Veterans Day Proclamation. “So their efforts shall not be in vain he charged us all to re-consecrate ourselves to the task of promoting and enduring peace to preserve our heritage of freedom.

“As we honor all veterans here today, service members are keeping peace in Korea, they’re fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq and they’re fighting against ISIS in Operation Inherent Resolve. Right now American service men and women are preserving our heritage and freedom.  As President Eisenhower stated ‘And the saber continues to rattle,’” concluded Murray. 

The Henderson Symphony Orchestra played service songs representing all of the branches of the military for a crowd of more than 600 people in attendance, as veterans of each branch assumed the position of attention and sang as their respective military song was played.  

Basic High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC cadets carry a wreath to be placed in front of a Veterans Deceased Panel with the names inscribed of all deceased service members that resided in Henderson, Nev. during the city’s Veterans Day celebration, Nov. 5. All attendees walked to the Veterans Memorial Wall to join in the celebration.

Members of the Basic High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC rang a bell and read the names of deceased Henderson veterans to be added to the Veterans Memorial Wall. 

A red, white and blue carnation wreath was placed in front of a Veterans Deceased Panel with the names inscribed of all deceased service members that resided in Henderson. 

At the end of the ceremony, all attendees walked to the Veterans Memorial Wall to join in the celebration by paying respect to the new names inscribed on the panel and reminisced of their loved ones. 
 

A Desert Storm veteran proudly displays his earned service medals during the City of Henderson, Nev. Veterans Day celebration, Nov. 5. Veterans Day recognizes all Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who served the United States selflessly.

 

U.S. Air Force retired Senior Master Sgt. Chester Stafford, World War II, Korean and Vietnam Wars veteran renders a salute as the Henderson Symphony Orchestra plays the Air Force song during the City of Henderson, Nev. Veterans Day celebration, Nov. 5. Veterans Day pays homage to the veterans of all foreign wars who have contributed to the preservation of the nation.

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