Veterans Day on Arsenal Island
November 11, 2013
Despite the weather, about one hundred people turned out this afternoon for this year's Veterans Day ceremony in the National Cemetery on Arsenal Island.
The keynote speaker was Major General John Wharton, commanding general of the Army Sustainment Command. He says the 22 million veterans now make up 7 per cent of the US population, including about one million now living in Iowa and Illinois.
"Today the work of our military and veterans remains unfinished. There are still enemies of freedome in our world and they threaten our way of life. There's still a need to send out a call for those willing to make sacrifies necessary to defend that freedome and advance liberty around the world."
He says next week will be the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, one of the most famous speeches ever honoring veterans.
"On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln called on listeners to go forward with a renewed determination to carry on that cause for the thousands who had given their lives at Gettysburg for the cause of freedom. The fighting spirit at Gettysburg is show in the battles ever since that time and it lives on in the hearts and minds of America's men and women in uniform."
General Wharton also thanked the Quad Cities for its strong support of the Arsenal - its soldiers, workers, and contractors.
As in past years the ceremony ended with a 21-gun salute, and taps.
(photo: WW II veteran John Adams of Davenport playing Taps in the National Cemetery)