On the peaceful, sunny afternoon of November 11, 2017, one hundred fourteen Monterey residents met at the Memorial Walkway and Garden adjacent to the flagpole to pay tribute to their 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 were invited to step forward, and 16 were identified as having served in the U.S. Army, 12 in the U.S. Navy, 5 in the U. S. Air Force, and 4 in the U.S. Marine Corp. As each group was identified, a candle was lit to honor that service. Two branches of service, the Coast Guard and the Merchant Marine, did not have a representative, but were also honored.
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.