Honoring veterans

Washington stake pays tribute to those who defend their country


A performance by the 56th Army Band, "America's Corps Band," highlighted the fifth Community Veteran's Day Celebration sponsored by the Centralia Washington Stake and Families Are Forever Inc., a nonprofit organization.

The stake center's cultural hall was packed with some 600 members of the community, including Church members, and many more listened to the celebration simulcast over two local radio stations.

The 56th Army Band, stationed at nearby Fort Lewis, played "The Star Spangled Banner" during the opening flag ceremony and, in the middle of the program, performed a rousing five-number set capped with "Stars and Stripes Forever."

Then there was a roll call for members of the various military branches who were killed in action who had family members in attendance. When each name was called, a member of that person's family stood and received a white carnation from one of the full-time missionaries serving in the stake. The family member took the carnation to the front of the hall and placed it on a table memorial.

Veterans in attendance were presented with a military service flag.

President Harry Hillstrom, second counselor in the stake presidency and a Navy veteran, spoke during the event, paying tribute to veterans.

Terry Wood of the stake public affairs committee said the celebration has been a good way for the Church to show appreciation for those who serve in the military and he expects the celebration to continue annually.

"The more veterans we can reach to say 'thank you,' the better," he said.

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