The Sterling community — including grade school, junior high, and high school students — gathered the morning of Nov. 11 at Sterling Lake to honor the veterans who served our country.
The grade school students sang “America the Beautiful” and “My Country, ‘Tis Of Thee.” The high school band also played “America the Beautiful,” “God Blessed the USA,” and the “Star Spangled Banner.” Then Taggart Wall, Sterling City Manager, presented the keynote address.
“Opportunities to honor others through speeches like this are always a bright spot in my duties,” he said. “Not being a veteran, I tried to give a citizen’s perspective of our admiration for those who work every day to protect our freedoms and the freedoms of others across the globe.”
Wall targeted his speech towards the families of those who served.
“Family is so important. Families deserve recognition for the important role they play in the system of military service,” he said. “Often, they are the front line supporters and those who also make sacrifices of their own. They, too, are part of why we enjoy the freedoms we have.”
One of the veterans that attended the ceremony was Cassandra Stevens, she served in the air force and the navy reserve, over the courage of 24 years.
“I have many stories and experiences that I could share through my years of serving,” she said. “That’s what I enjoy most about Veterans Day, being able to gather with fellow veterans and hear their stories.”
Stevens was able to travel the world while serving, visting places such as Italy and Pearl Harbor.
“Being in the Air Force and the Navy wasn’t all a bed of roses. I was in peacetime, and that’s why I had the opportunity to travel,” she said. “It was amazing to see all of the things that I got the chance to see. I’m incredibly grateful for that.”
Stevens believes Veterans Day means a little more than a 20 minute ceremony that school students are forced to go.
“I enjoyed the youth showing up to the ceremony,” she said. “I’m hoping that they absorbed something and will start understanding what Veterans Day means to us.”