The community gathered for a special Veterans Day ceremony on Wednesday that not only paid tribute to the many Turlockers who have served in the armed forces, but also rededicated the War Memorial Cannon at its new home in Central Park.
"We are here today to dedicate the cannon that we've all grown up looking at for decades, over 50 years it stood guard over the City of Turlock and we're very excited to dedicate it here in this very central spot in the City of Turlock so we will always remember what our veterans do for us each and every day," said Mayor Gary Soiseth.
Representatives of local veterans groups commemorated the dedication of the cannon, and expressed their appreciation for all the hard work the City of Turlock put into the design and placement of the new memorial.
"God bless you Turlock, you've made us feel so special today, as always," said Veterans of Foreign Wars commander Mike Seward.
Seward said that recognition of Veterans Day is not only important for those who were called to sacrifice for their country — many of whom were asked to serve more than once like the 147,000 who served in both World War II and in Korea, the 211,000 who fought in both Korea and Vietnam and the 837,000 service men and women who took part in both the Gulf Wars —but also for the "future veterans amongst us."
Veteran and congressman Jeff Denham also recognized the family members of veterans at the Turlock ceremony.
"As veterans we face some challenging times, those very few those brave who have worn the cloth of this great nation, but oftentimes we as Americans, we forget those who have been here at home that have picked up the pieces," said Denham.
Although the cannon will serve as a symbol of the community's gratitude, Denham said the best way to help a veteran is to hire him or her.
He also promoted the "Greenlight a Vet" campaign, which encourages people to change one light to green in a visible location as a symbol of appreciation and support for veterans.
"America stands as a beacon of hope and freedom around the world because of the sacrifices of these few courageous citizens," said Denham.