Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
TROOP 378 members A.J. Carrons, left, Bryce Stanton, and Larry Collett salute the American flag after presenting the colors at Tuesday’s Veterans Day service at Anderson Tribute Center. Boy Scouts and their Cub Scout counterparts played key roles in the annual event. Earlier, the Hood River Elks hosted a well-attended breakfast for veterans and family members.
As of Tuesday, November 11, 2014
The tolling of the bell served as a fitting start to Tuesday’s Veterans Day service at Anderson Tribute Center. Boy Scout Emilio Castenada rang a bell 11 times — for the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th Month, when the Armistice of World War I was signed — that moment that stands for the honor we give to all who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The community paid tribute in the 11 a.m. service, as always a respectful, solemn event blending young and old, with the emphasis on the wish for peace along with high esteem for those who have served our nation’s military in the cause of freedom. When the colors passed by for each branch of the military, some men stood more than once.
“Let us honor their service by our recommitment to partner, throughout the year to fulfill the sacred trust and caring for all of those who have borne the battle,” said officiant Bob Huskey. He asked for thoughts and prayers for the men and women who have served in the past, as well as those now in uniform in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“This year we pray for the day when there need be more veterans,” Rev. Carl Casey said in his invocation.
On this day after Veterans Day, this message from U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) demonstrates that finally some resolve on the issue of how our government treats its veterans.
“From our veterans of World War II to young men and women serving in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world, we pause today to honor our veterans who have fought and died defending our freedom.
“Even today, while we sleep soundly here at home, American service members continue to fight and die for our country in far off places. For those who come home, we must ensure that we have the resources needed to care for them and their families and eventually to help them move into civilian life.
“For many veterans, service does not end when they take off the uniform. Many of them continue to serve in our communities, in public life, in small businesses, our schools, and other ways.
“Certainly, we owe veterans gratitude. But we owe them so much more than that. We owe them the very best care possible when they return, and we must ensure that they receive the benefits they’ve earned through years of service.
“Too often nationally, the Veterans Administration has sadly failed to live up to the standards our men and women in uniform deserve. Veterans have not always had access to the care they need in a timely manner. That’s unacceptable, and there must be greater accountability. We’ve passed reform legislation to begin cleaning up the mess at the VA, and the agency has taken the first steps in implementing these reforms. This is a step in the right direction, but there’s more work to be done.
“If you or a loved one run into problems with the VA or any other federal agency, please call my office toll free at 800-533-3303 or go online to walden.house.gov. I have three veterans on staff and together we will do everything we can to get results for you.
“So join me this Veterans Day in thanking veterans for their service to our nation in the cause of freedom. Thank you, veterans. God bless you. And God Bless America.”