Thursday afternoon, the community gathered in Oak Dale Cemetery at Soldiers Mound to honor the nation’s veterans. The ceremony was sponsored by American Legion Post 120, Amvets Post 121, DAV Chapter 31 and VFW Post 5451.
“Veterans Day is a day we set aside to thank and honor all that have served honorably in the military,” said VFW Post 5451 member Bob Max in opening remarks. “Veterans Day is intended to thank the living veterans for their service. Their contribution to our national security is appreciated.”
Chaplain David Brandeberry prayed for the country and the protection of veterans and their families.
United States Military Academy (West Point) graduate and Urbana native Capt. Dan Cox delivered the keynote speech during the ceremony.
“Thank you to our veterans,” said Cox. “I am going to read the following bold statement that could be made by our active duty soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines: I have done things that haunt me at night so that we can sleep in peace. I have been away from my family so that yours can be safe. I have sacrificed a lot of my life so that we may live free. I have done these things because I have sworn an oath to the country I love. I will live by this oath until the day I die because I am and always will be a United States veteran.”
Cox continued, “Our active duty service members are out there serving right now so that we can be here today. When a battle is over, we no longer serve in active duty but there are still many ways to serve as a veteran. Just this year alone, our local veterans groups have donated tens of thousands of dollars to help local veterans in need. They have done many other various events to raise money and give back to the community. They have donated money, time and sweat to local charities and schools and organizations that serve the community.”
Max thanked the community for their support, “Thank you all for being here today, God bless our veterans and God bless the United States of America.”
The Urbana High School marching band performed the National Anthem and Taps during the ceremony.