CEREMONY HONORS VETERANS AT 45TH INFANTRY DIVISION MUSEUM
The men and women who have served, and those currently serving across all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, were honored Saturday during a Veterans Day ceremony at the 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City.
Dozens of visitors attended the ceremony, which featured a number of patriotic songs performed by the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s 145th Army Band. The Governor’s Honor Guard presented and posted the colors shortly after the ceremony began.
“We remember those who in the last century paid the supreme sacrifice for our freedoms and we honor those many veterans now serving in all branches,” museum curator Michael E. Gonzalez said before introducing keynote speaker Brig. Gen. Louis Wilham, interim adjutant general for the Oklahoma National Guard.
Wilham thanked the veterans and their families and spoke of how it has been his honor for the past several months to lead the more than 10,000 men and women of the Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard.
He spoke at length of what it meant to serve in the Armed Forces, saying
many felt a calling to defend their country during WWI, WWII and other conflicts and that many also joined to escape difficulties in their lives.
“Others over the years saw the military as a way out of a difficult situation or place. Many joined because they hoped for the opportunity to be judged by their merits rather than by their race,
religion, creed, color or gender,” Wilham said.
“To me, serving in the uniform of our nation transcends wars and time and branches of service. To me, what it means to serve is to be bound together to our country and to each other by a common set of ideals that we swear to while we are serving and which we hopefully can keep forever as fellow veterans.”
He asked all veterans, during what he described as an era of “seeming divisiveness, hatred and anger” in the nation, to lead by example and to be true to the shared beliefs, ideals and values instilled throughout all branches.
Military honor guards present the colors Saturday.TOP PHOTO: Seth Thomas, 8, salutes during the Veterans Dayceremony at the 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City on Saturday.
Ret. Capt. Mike Beckett prays Saturday during the Veterans Day ceremony.