Anthem’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony will pay special tribute to WWII heroes

ANTHEM – The Anthem Community Council invites the public to attend the annual Veterans Day Ceremony at 10 a.m. on November 11, at the Anthem Veterans Memorial.

The program will honor the service of all veterans and their families, as well paying special tribute to the service members during World War II. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II.

The ceremony concludes at 11:11 a.m., in honor of Armistice, with the solar illumination of the Great Seal of the United States through the five armed services pillar ellipses (weather permitting).

Army veteran and current reservist, Chief Warrant Officer Matthew Woodruff, from San Diego will deliver the keynote address. Woodruff, a 21-year Criminal Investigation Department officer, served several deployments in the Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

He also served as a guardian for a World War II veteran on a 2017 U.S. Honor Flight. Woodruff currently services as the Director of Security for UPS Worldwide – Southern California Region.

Kyle Polen, Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Voice of Democracy national essay contest participant, also will speak.  Polen’s essay, “Why My Vote Matters” earned him the title of Arizona State Champion. He earned second place overall in the international competition, and an academic scholarship to a school of his choice.

Pastor Jessica Schulze of Anthem’s Grace North Church will deliver the invocation, and Musical Theater of Anthem and the Arizona Veterans Band will provide special music.

Pictured: The Air Force Jr. ROTC standing in front of the Anthem Veterans Memorial during the annual Veterans Day Ceremony. This year’s special guest speaker is army veteran and current reservist, Chief Warrant Officer Matthew Woodruff.
(Photo courtesy of the Anthem Community Council)

Sandra Day O’Connor Air Force Jr. ROTC, under the command of Lt. Col. John Simmons (USAF, Retired) and Master Sgt. Michael Badey (USAF, Retired) will support the event.

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

Seating and parking for the Veterans Day ceremony is limited. Please bring lawn chairs or blankets. Parking in the lot nearest the Memorial is intended for those who cannot walk longer distances; all others, please park in the middle or lower lots, or at the Community Center and access the park via the footbridge.

A high-definition LED screen will project the ceremony and photos/videos of veterans, and will capture the 11:11 a.m. moment when the sun’s rays pass through the five Armed Services pillars’ ellipses to cast a solar spotlight over the mosaic of the Great Seal of the United States (weather permitting).

For safety, attendees will not be allowed to approach the Memorial during the ceremony or the 11:11 a.m. spotlight; the Memorial will open for visitors following the ceremony.

The Anthem Veterans Memorial is located in Anthem Community Park, 41703 N. Gavilan Peak Parkway. Take I-17 to exit 229. The Memorial is on the left at the four-way stop signs and entrance to the park.

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