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Community will honor service of veterans
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Salutes to the areas veterans began Wednesday at Stanislaus State with their annual Thank a Vet Day and will conclude Sunday with a public ceremony at Central Park hosted by the City of Turlock. - photo by Photo Contributed

Veterans’ Day may not be until Sunday, but the occasions to salute them and their service to the nation has already begun, with more events to come.

The City of Turlock will host its fourth annual Veterans Day ceremony at 1 p.m. Sunday in Central Park with a presentation of the colors and a rededication of the Freedom Tree.

Originally located at the War Memorial, the Freedom Tree was part of a national movement to symbolize the freedom of all. It was dedicated in 1973 to honor those from the Turlock area who were listed as prisoners of war or missing in action. The Freedom Tree is being rededicated at Central Park, and will join the historic cannon, which was rededicated to that location in 2015. The original plaque has been restored and will be mounted on a pedestal facing the large oak tree in the park.

“It takes a lot of courage for a soldier to risk his or her life for our country. The least we can do is honor these heroes, which is the essence of this Veterans’ Day celebration,” said Mayor Gary Soiseth. “It’s an honor to rededicate this Freedom Tree as a humble gesture recognizing the sacrifices of those in uniform.”

The observance also will include music from the Turlock High School band and local author Jeff Jardine as a guest speaker. The event is open to the public. Central Park is located at 115 S. Golden State Boulevard.

The community also is invited to join in the tribute being held at Covenant Village at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Covenant Village will host a special tribute to the 40 veterans residing at the community.

On Wednesday, Stanislaus State held their annual Thank a Vet program, which included a public expression of gratitude from the students, staff and faculty at the university.