Sunday’s cold and rain was a far cry from the gorgeous temperatures that turned up Saturday, but that didn’t change the fact that it was Veterans Day—and expressing gratitude was at the top of the agenda for Woodbury, even if it meant moving the program indoors.
About 75 people packed City Hall for Woodbury’s Veterans Day celebration, which featured all of the traditional formalities plus some heartfelt remarks from the keynote speakers.
During her comments, Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens said she was most recently reminded of her freedom as she went to worship before Sunday’s ceremony.
“While today is our day to express our thanks, we must not forget that really the highest appreciation is not just the words we utter, but how we live. Not just to express things, but to show things. And there are many ways to help and serve,” Stephens told the crowd. “The city of Woodbury is proud to be a Yellow Ribbon city.”
From changing tires and snow removal to childcare and helping out with some financial difficulties, the Yellow Ribbon Network prides itself on pooling community resources to help military families face life’s daily challenges during deployment cycles.
“We honor the Veterans by assisting those they love,” said Yellow Ribbon Committee Chair Donna Stafford.
Related: Helping Those Who Protect Our Freedom
During her address Sunday, Navy Cmdr. Denise Spanier said the military is a calling.
“To the young people in the crowd, and those who can pass on this message,” Spanier said, “If you feel a call to service. Answer. You will never regret it. Military service is an opportunity to serve your country and your countrymen. To be part of the real 1 percent.”
Woodbury High School students Joe Chavez and Kale Cotto are using the Jr. ROTC as a place to start their military careers. The teens helped fellow members present the colors during the program. They agreed that being a part of the ceremony was inspirational, especially seeing so many older veterans in attendance.
“To see that they approve of what we do, it means a lot to me because I have a lot of respect for them,” said Chavez, who is a cadet first lieutenant with the Air Force.
Retired Army Maj. Jane Fee said she enjoyed seeing the younger generation participate in the event. The Woodbury resident said she felt Sunday’s ceremony was one of their better ones and the support was wonderful, given the weather.
“The people of Woodbury have been very supportive and gracious and we really appreciate that,” Fee said. “It makes me feel grateful that I was able to serve my country.”