On the sunny afternoon of November 11, 2017, Monterey residents gathered at the Memorial Walkway and Garden adjacent to the flagpole to pay tribute to our nation and the veterans among them who had fought and served their country in war and peace.
The crowd stood to pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, which was at half-mast in honor of Veterans Day. A wreath of red, white, and blue had been constructed for the occasion, and was mounted on a stand behind the speakers table.
Veterans of the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Marine Corp., and the Coast Guard/Merchant Marine were invited to step. As each group was identified, a candle was lit to honor that service. A brief and dynamic speech chastised those in recent news reports who had shown disrespect to the flag and to all that this country stands for.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, as voices joined for "God Bless America," the evident crowd demeanor reflected Monterey's pride, respect, and love of country - a brief and satisfying reflection of patriotism to be long remembered.