Offering a salute to our servicepeople
The city’s military history was evident in the generations of veterans and veterans’ spouses and children who came out Sunday to pay respect to comrades both living and dead.
Some 250 people were at Veterans Plaza in Traxler Park for the morning commemoration, and 60 or so went to VFW Post 1621 on Center Avenue in the afternoon to remember all veterans and dedicate the post’s new flagpole.
The city’s military present was underlined by the remarks of Staff Sgt. Tim Allen. He sandwiched a six-year active-duty tour in the Air Force between two stints in the Army National Guard.
Allen oversees the fuel and fuel systems for Alpha Company, 132nd Brigade Support Battalion in Janesville. When he deployed to Iraq with an infantry outfit, he was a gun truck commander.
His gunner was only 20, and they ran the gauntlet of roadside bombs in Iraq.
“We, as veterans, understand the meaning of the words selfless service, devotion to duty and sacrifice,” Allen said. “We have willingly placed our lives and those of our loved ones on hold to defend our nation’s freedom and way of life. …
“The threat of terrorism is just as real today as the threat of communism to our way of life was prevalent during the Cold War. We must be diligent in our efforts to combat terrorism and keep our citizens out of harm’s way. …
“Sadly, 2007 has been the deadliest year for our military in this current campaign,” he noted. “These patriots join those who have come before them in giving the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”
Allen reminded the crowd that American military men and women serve around the world in war zones and elsewhere.
“Keep them in our thoughts,” he said, “and pray for a speedy return home to their families.”