By Debbie Teofilo
Special to the Sun
The annual Kern River Valley Veterans Day Celebration was held this past Monday on the same day and time as the original event in 1918: on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11:00 a.m. This day is formally recognized as the end of World War I, and it later became known as Veterans Day to honor all military veterans, living and dead, for their service and sacrifice.
The beautiful sunny day close to Thanksgiving made it easy to recognize and be thankful for the many local veterans with their families who attended the ceremony. These guests of honor filled the standing-room-only seats along the Veterans Wall at the Kern River Valley Cemetery, and as would be expected, many stood during the celebration to give their seats to others.
Service to country defines a veteran, and speakers said it is important for veterans to pass along that commitment to the younger generation. Dick Taylor, retired Kern County Veterans Service Officer, remarked that every military service experience is part of our heritage and legacy, and it needs to be shared with the younger generation who will “take up the baton.”
Yet many veterans do not want to talk about their military experience.
Taylor challenged each veteran in the audience to write down some notes about their memories and share them with family at a time in the future, such as during the coming Thanksgiving Day gatherings.