Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Local veteran Martin Medellin salute after during the playing of “Taps” during the Veterans Day Service at Memorial Courthouse Park on Friday.
Maderans who served in the Armed Forces were honored Friday — Veterans Day — at an annual ceremony in Memorial Courthouse Park.
The park, adorned with a forest of U.S. flags, with its signature howitzer pointed silently to the horizon, saw veterans from World War II to the Iraq War converge to give and receive honors for their service.
“All heroes don’t wear capes,” said former Madera County sheriff and U.S. Army veteran John Anderson. “They wear dog tags.”
The ceremony, put on by American Legion Post No. 11 and VFW Post No. 1981 in Madera, began with a flyover, and then moved on to the posting of the colors and the national anthem.
Some time later, the guest speaker of the event, former Madera County supervisor and retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Vern Moss, reflected on those who served, and those who gave their lives in America’s conflicts.
“Freedom is not free,” said Moss, who served in Vietnam. “But a gift paid for with the blood of our brothers and sisters in years to come.”
During his speech, he also reflected on the fact that that he was born on Sept. 2, 1939, the day after Nazi Germany invaded Poland, and that Japan surrendered on his sixth birthday in 1945.
“I guess you could say I was meant to be a soldier,” Moss said.
Following the speech, the themes from all five branches of the military were played, along with more music. With the 21-gun salute, the closing prayer, and the retiring of the colors, the day concluded, ending with a free meal at the Elks Lodge for those in attendance.