Lodi sure loves its veterans, with some 200 people packing the American Legion Hall for a special program on Sunday.
“This is not Memorial Day; this is Veterans Day,” keynote speaker Ken Vogel said during observance.
Vogel noted that Sunday was a day to honor surviving as well as veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice. San Joaquin County has more than 37,000 veterans, said Vogel, a county supervisor.
Vietnam veterans are now carrying the torch for organizations like the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, but a group is needed to carry on for veterans of Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan, Vogel said.
Other activities at the observance included:
- Remarks by Lodi City Councilman and former Assemblyman Alan Nakanishi, who is a veteran.
- Invocation and benediction by Lodi Rabbi Dr. Raphael Pazo, also a veteran.
- Posting of the colors led by Julian Lopez, the post’s sergeant at arms.
- Pledge of Allegiance led by Tammy Hulme, from Lodi Girl Scout Service Unit 113.
- National anthem and “I’m Glad to be an American” by Audie Silber’s third-grade class and Dottie Phelps’ fourth-grade class, from Lodi Seventh-day Adventist School.
- Medley of songs representing each military branch by the Lodi Community Band.
- Special tribute to Korean War-era veterans by post Adjutant Martin Jones.
- Tribute to prisoners of war and those missing in action by Legion Post Cmdr. Daniel Meunier. A small table with white tablecloth, single rose to commemorate what the POW may have shed, a lighted candle and a special slice of lemon and some salt on the plate. “Let us remember and never forget their sacrifice,” Meunier said.
- Taps by Post Cmdr. Robert Gross.
Bill Selling was master of ceremonies.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.