THE GAINES VETERANS PARK COMMITTEE hosted a Veterans Day celebration on Saturday, Nov. 11 with the help of its sponsors, the Gaines Lions Club, Byron Masonic Lodge No. 80, and the Barons Motorcycle Club.
The Gaines Community Band entertained the roughly 150 guests prior to the service, which took place at the Gaines Veterans Memorial Park. Veterans of all eras were celebrated, though Vietnam era veterans were the day’s featured honorees. More than 40 veterans were honored, and those in attendance were presented with a lapel pin and a letter from Michigan Senator Ken Horn. Organizers were encouraged by the turnout and overall success of the event.
“We put out 135 chairs, which were mostly filled, and then there were 25 to 40 people standing,” says Veterans Committee chair Dave Aurand. “The community has embraced what we’re doing. Honoring Vietnam veterans helped bring out the crowd in spite of chilly temperatures. Many families attended to see their heroes get their proper recognition. It was cool to look around and see the expressions of appreciation on their faces.”
Aurand set the tone during his introductory remarks by thanking the veterans in attendance for their service, noting that “The price of freedom is high,” and “we can never fully repay our debt to you.”
The Gaines Area Rifle Team made its debut by conducting the rifle salute during the ceremony.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)