Anthem’s Veterans Day Ceremony featuring special keynote speaker, service awards, music

ANTHEM – Anthem’s Veterans Day Ceremony takes place on Sunday, November 11, at the Anthem Veterans Memorial, which includes a program honoring the service of all veterans and their families, the 100th anniversary of Armistice that ended World War I and a special keynote speaker.

The ceremony will start at 10 a.m. and conclude at 11:11 a.m. in honor of Armistice, which was the silencing of weapons that brought the end of World War I at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month in 1918. Followed by a solar illumination of the United States Seal through five armed services pillar ellipses.

Special guest, Jim Zwit, who is this year’s the keynote speaker, was involved in a firefight in A Shau Valley in the Vietnam War that killed eight fellow soldiers in a single night and left him critically injured. Upon his return from Vietnam, Zwit spent the next 40 years tracking down the families of his fallen comrades, and his quest was the subject of the Pulitzer Prize-winning article reprinted in this issue of The Foothills Focus.

In a private ceremony prior to Veterans Day, Zwit will install pavers for each member of his unit in the Circle of Honor at the Anthem Veterans Memorial.

The Veterans Service Award will be presented during the ceremony, which recognizes an individual, group, business or organization that has displayed extraordinary service or selfless dedication to the community’s veterans.

Emma Suttell, a Boulder Creek High School junior and president of the local Veterans Heritage Project chapter, will also speak at the ceremony. Emma along with her peers, interview and record veterans sharing their stories of service, which are archived at the Library of Congress. Each year a hardbound book is printed with each of the veterans’ stories.

Music will be provided by the Musical Theater of Anthem’s Outreach Group and the Arizona Veterans Band, and “God Bless America” will be performed to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the patriotic song.

Sandra Day O’ Connor High School Air Force Jr. ROTC cadets, along with the North Valley Young Marines, will support the ceremony.

Seating and parking for the event is limited, and attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets.

Anthem is asking that people park in the farther lots or at the Community Center and access the park on the footbridge to accommodate those who can’t walk longer distances.

An LED screen will be setup at the event to project the ceremony as will as pictures and videos of veterans. Attendees will not be allowed to approach the memorial during the ceremony, but it will open for visitors after 11:11 a.m.

About the Anthem Veterans Memorial

The award-winning memorial was dedicated on November 11, 2011, and received Arizona Historic Landmark status six months later. Fundraising and the sale of pavers in the Circle of Honor continue. To donate, purchase a paver or learn more visit OnlineAtAnthem/AVM.

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