SOLANA BEACH – An anonymous writer once defined a veteran, whether active duty, retired, National Guard or reserve, as someone “who at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount of up to and including my life. That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.”
Retired Navy SEAL Tom Revaz, guest speaker at this year’s Solana Beach Veterans Day ceremony, offered three suggestions to better appreciate those who serve our country.
Everyone should volunteer to help a veteran or his or her family. For those who are deployed, knowing their loved ones at home are being taken care of brings them peace of mind, Revaz said.
“We also need to promote military service to our youth,” he said. “And veterans, please share your stories with others.
“The more we talk about what we do, the better able we are to hold it up as an example of excellence,” said Revaz, who described his 22 years of active duty as “the best time of my life.”
“Our shared service joins us together like no other bond,” he said.
Solana Beach has held the Nov. 11 ceremony at La Colonia Park ever since it dedicated the veterans memorial there in 1997.
“Each year we come together in unity to honor our true heroes,” Councilman Joe Kellejian said. “We are indebted to them forever.”
The holiday was originally called Armistice Day to commemorate an agreement effective on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 to end fighting in World War I. It became an official American holiday in 1926 and a legal one 12 years later.
The name was changed in 1954 to honor all U.S. veterans.
The Solana Beach event also included a presentation of the colors by Camp Pendleton Young Marines and military music by the Santa Fe Christian Band. It concluded with Issac Trottar, a sophomore at Santa Fe Christian, playing “Taps” and the release of white doves, the symbol of peace.