Veterans honored at Traxler Park ceremonies
JANESVILLE--Not self, but country.
It's a motto used by the U.S. Navy. But it's one that could be shared by all the veterans honored ceremonies Saturday.
In Janesville, more than 100 people crowded into the Traxler Park warming house at to honor veterans, past and present. Throughout the room, men and women, in civilian clothes or in uniform proclaimed their service. One man had a hat that said "World War II vet." The Iraq and Afganistan wars were represented, as was Korean War. The majority of veterans, however, were from the Vietnam era.
The ceremony included the traditional posting of the colors, an invocation and pledge and a salute to veterans from each branch of the military
Janesville Police Department Deputy Chief Jimmy Holford, who served in the US Army, was the featured speaker.
The theme of Holford's speech was "rest easy," and reminded veterans that their service was remembered and honored by both their generation and a new generation soldiers.
"I stand her humbled and awed by those who were in active service," said Holfod, who served stateside as a member of the miltary police.
Holford reminded the audience that as he spoke, a veteran and fellow police officer was being laid to rest in Rockford, Illinois. Rockford Police Department Officer Jaimie Cox, 30, died Sunday, Nov. 5, during a traffic stop.
Cox had served in the National Guard and the Illinois Department of Natural Resource's law enforcement division.
Holford said he had the privilege of working with young people who had served in the armed forces and understood what it meant to be "in service to something larger than themselves."
The service and efforts of veterans for former wars "feed the souls" of younger vets and those now in service, Holford said.
At the end of ceremonies, Janesville Patriotic Society President Tom Stahura asked the audience to extend their support to the men and women currently on active duty. A support the troops rally will be held starting at about 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16. The rally will be held in the 2200 block of Milton Avenue, Janesville, near the Milton Lawns Cemetery.