More than 100 people gathered at Veterans Memorial Park on Saturday for a Veterans Day ceremony celebrating Colusa County’s servicemen and servicewomen.
The crowd sat to the north of memorial at the heart of the park, as members from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 2441 and the American Legion Post No. 218 conducted the ceremony from the center of the park’s six memorial walls, which contain bricks engraved with the names of more than 830 veterans from Colusa County.
A seventh wall was placed this year, said veteran Dennis Sanders, who was the driving force behind project, first dedicated in 2014. Sanders said the county’s support for its veterans is staggering, evidenced by the donations that made the project possible.
“Thanks to the generosity of the community, we have started the next phase of our project, with the installation of the first two sculptured panels, representing World War I and World War II,” Sanders said. “We also have sufficient funds to do the next two panels, for Vietnam and Korea, next year.”
Sanders said that donations are still needed for the panels representing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After Mini Miss Colusa County sang the national anthem, Colusa City Councilman Greg Ponciano delivered the opening comments for the ceremony, explaining the significance of Veterans Day across the nation.
“Throughout our country’s today, communities like ours will pause to honor our veterans, who for more than 240 years have been the underwriters of our freedom, paid through duty, honor, and selfless service,” Ponciano said to open the ceremony. “Staggering is the debt that we owe them.”
Retired master chief radioman of the Navy David Resch was the ceremony’s keynote speaker, and asked that the community remember both veterans who lost their lives in combat and those who returned with wounds both seen and unseen.
“Since the founding of this country, we have ordained that this will be a land of freedom, and we – that is, us – we shall defend that principal to the point of a supreme sacrifice,” Resch said. “It has come down through the ages that men and women from all walks of life – doctors, lawyers, teachers, farmers, patriots of all skin colors and all religions – all of us have answered the call. All volunteered to safeguard that freedom… We thank the veterans of foreign wars.” ■