Veterans Day ceremony to be held at Anthem Veterans Memorial
ANTHEM – This year’s Veterans Day Ceremony at Anthem Veterans Memorial will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 10 a.m. The ceremony’s focus will be on women veterans and military medical personnel. Following the ceremony, guests are invited to remain at the Anthem Veterans Memorial to watch the sun’s rays pass through the five Armed Services' pillars at exactly 11:11 a.m. to shine a perfect solar spotlight on a mosaic of The Great Seal of the United States.
U.S. Air Force Colonel Wanda Wright (Retired), Director of Arizona Department of Veterans' Services, will deliver the keynote address, paying special tribute to women veterans and medical/hospital military personnel (medics, corpsmen, nurses, etc.). Wright is the third generation of her family to serve in the U.S. military. She has three decades of military experience. Wright’s decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster and the Air Force Commendation Medal.
New to the ceremony will be ‘Veteran Perspectives,’ in which a personal veteran experience will be shared. Veteran Perspectives will be presented by Vietnam War veteran, Abe Saiz, who was badly wounded on Easter Sunday, 1969. A Navy Corpsman, Bob Crider, carried Saiz through a combat zone to safety and before going back to assist other soldiers. Both Saiz and Crider are Purple Heart recipients.
Ceremony attendees are asked to bring an unwrapped new children’s toy to support the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, collected locally by the Daisy Mountain Veterans. Cadets from the Sandra Day O'Connor Jr. AFROTC will assist in the toy collection drive and ceremony.
The ceremony, presented by the Anthem Veterans Memorial Support Team, the Anthem Community Council, and the Daisy Mountain Veterans, will include musical performances by the Boulder Creek High School Bel Canto Honor choir, under the direction of Kirk Douglas. Additionally, the annual Veterans Service Award will be presented. U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Darlene Gonzales (Retired) and Jenna Kohl, Anthem Community Council Executive Officer will serve as the Masters of Ceremonies.
Seating is limited. Lawn chairs are welcome. The Anthem Veterans Memorial is located at 41703 N. Gavilan Peak Pkwy., in the Anthem Community Park.
Anthem Veterans Memorial History
On November 11, 2011, the Anthem Veterans Memorial site was dedicated to the Anthem community as a monument to honor the service and sacrifice of our country’s armed forces. This pillar of pride, in conjunction with its recent Arizona Historical Society designation, provides a place of honor and reflection for veterans, their family and friends, and those who desire to show respect to the servicemen and women who have, and continue to courageously serve our county. The AVM was built by Haydon Building Corp. and paid for by in-kind donations, businesses donors, community members and commemorative paver donations.
To date, the Anthem Veterans Memorial has received the following honors and awards:
ACEC 2012 Grand Award – Best Engineering and Environmental Consulting Project – American Consulting Engineers Companies.
Arizona Public Works Project of the Year Award 2012 – Arizona Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA).
AZ Historic Marker Designation 2012 – Arizona Historical Society.
Anthem Veterans Memorial Significance
The five pillars represent the unity of the five branches of the United States military, serving steadfast together.
They are staggered in size and the military seal placements on each pillar are based upon the Department of Defense prescribed precedence (U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard).
At precisely 11:11 a.m. each Veterans Day, November 11, the sun's rays pass through the five pillars' ellipses and cast a solar spotlight over a mosaic of The Great Seal of the United States.
To visit the Anthem Veterans Memorial:
Take I-17 north to the Anthem Way exit. Turn right and follow Anthem Way to the third traffic light at N. Gavilan Peak Pkwy. Turn right. The Memorial will be on the left at the first stop sign. Parking is available at the Memorial or across the street.
About the Anthem Veterans Memorial (AVM) and AVM Support Team (AVMST):
The Anthem Veterans Memorial Support Team, composed of volunteers, is an affiliate group of the Anthem Community Council responsible for fundraising efforts, ceremony organization, educational programming and the sale of veteran, business and organization pavers. To donate or to learn more about the Memorial, go to OnlineAtAnthem.com/anthem-veterans-memorial.