Lest we not forget the courage, honor, and sacrifice of others for our freedom.
These commemorating words and proudly hung flags stood subtly in the background as the Milpitas Community Concert Band and the “Veterans Remembrance Choir” played the songs of the armed forces.
The City of Milpitas hosted its annual Veterans Day ceremony from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the City Hall Veteran’s Memorial on Sunday.
“This is a way of really showing the greatness, appreciation and gratitude to our veterans, because, after all, the many, many values we enjoy is a result of their sweat and blood,” said Milpitas Mayor Jose Esteves.
The ceremony awarded Marine Corps veteran and former mayor Denny Weisberger as the first Veteran of the Year. Korean War Army Capt. Louis Horyza, public works employee and Army Cpl. John ‘Mick’ Ynegas, and Levine S. Visico, a former police officer and Marine lieutenant colonel were nominated for the award as well.
Local Anapamu Manden also donated hundreds of hand-knitted caps for veterans during the ceremony. She set up a table at the event, ensuring that every veteran received a cap.
“We honor the veterans and their sacrifices for this country,” said Estrella Gilana, president of Santa Clara County’s American Legion Auxiliary. "Everybody knows that without these veterans, we would not have a free country like we do now.”
Gilana decorated the ceremony with flags representing the five branches—Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy—and poppy wreaths handcrafted by disabled veterans. The American Legion Auxiliary volunteer in helping disabled veterans, including income for the wreaths, according to Gilana.
Veterans Day is a thank you, Esteves said, for “our freedom and democracy.”
“[This ceremony] is a way of continually saying we are eternally grateful,” said Estevez. “We have to encourage everybody to live by [the veterans’] values and what they stand for.”
Editor's Note: This story was updated at 5:45 p.m. Nov. 13 to reflect Anapamu Manden's contribution.