PASO ROBLES — A Veterans Day celebration was held Nov. 11 at the Paso Robles Cemetery.
The event kicked off with the traditional flyover performed by the Estrella Warbirds Museum and the master of ceremonies was Salvador Cohn, VFN Post 10965. The invocation was given by Chaplain Colonel Gregory Long from Fort Hunter Liggett.
The pledge of allegiance was led by the Boys and Girl Scouts of America and Pastor Bob King of First Baptist in Paso Robles sung the National Anthem. Mayor Steve Martin gave the welcoming address which was followed by a speech by guest speaker, Garrison Commander, Kerry Norman, from Fort Hunter Liggett.
Norman, who entered the army in 1986 as a private, in an all female company, became a NCO, and then transitioned to the officer corps. She has been deployed all over the world from the Middle East, to Asia and to Central America serving in 29 different locations.
“I have worked F5 tornadoes in Oklahoma, Katrina in New Orleans, I have seen war, I have seen people die, I have seen people hungry, and I have seen things I will never get over,” Norman said. “So you may be thinking, ‘oh my gosh, she has been through so much,’ but let me tell you I am nothing special. I mean that. I have sacrificed little compared to so many.”
She continued, “The U.S. has been at war for more than 16 years, and we now have the largest population of young veterans since the Vietnam War. This population continues to grow.We owe it to these men and women, to make sure they transition from military service with the skills and experience to find meaningful employment. Potential future service members look at how we take care of our veterans as they consider serving themselves, and our ability to man an all-volunteer military of the future depends partly on our support of today’s veterans.”
Taps was performed by Eagle Scout Alex Vandoblen and the “firing of rifles” was executed by American Legion Post 50, Sons of American Legion Squadron 50, Honor Guard VFA Post 10965.
At the conclusion everyone was invited to enjoy coffee, hot cocoa, cookies and a hot dog lunch on the lawn provided by the Paso Robles trustees and administrators of the Paso Robles District Cemetery and the Kuehl-Nicolay Funeral Home.