People gathered in Willows Memorial Hall for the annual Veterans Day celebration.

Each year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary 1770 hosts the event to honor veterans. 

Veterans Day marks the end of World War I in 1918, when at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, all fighting ceased. It was known as Armistice Day for a while and later it became known as Veterans Day. 

“I really believe it takes a village or community to celebrate veterans,” said Dan Roach, of the VFW and a veteran. “... There are a lot of veterans that have served overseas in combat. We made it home, but many didn’t … I still feel a need to live a full life and give back to the community.”

Roach opened the ceremony at 11 a.m. sharp and asked everyone to stand as the VFW Color Guard presented the colors.

Emma Ayala, 7, performed the National Anthem following the presentation of colors. 

Then, Gary Simleness presented the opening prayer and, following that, the Glenn Chorale performed the “Pledge of Allegiance.”

“(Veterans) were normal people before they heard the call for duty,” said Earnie Dowden, of the VFW, during the ceremony. “The freedom we enjoy is extremely special … (Veterans Day) is a day to remember why they were fighting.”

The Glenn Chorale also performed the “Tribute to the Armed Forces” and veterans of each branch of the military was asked to stand as their songs were performed – Army and Army National Guard, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Air Force National Guard, Coach Guard and Merchant Marines. 

A few weeks ago, several veterans visited Capay Joint Union Elementary School to be interviewed by students. 

During the ceremony, a video was played of the students talking about each of the veterans they interviewed. 

Susan Cooper, youth coordinator for the VFW, also asked a number of local students to attend the ceremony with veterans in their lives – each was given a special coin. 

After the students introduced their veterans, Cooper invited anyone else who attended with a veteran to introduce them. 

To close the ceremony, the Glenn Chorale performed “God Bless America,” Simleness presented the closing prayer, the VFW Color Guard retired the colors and David Alexander, of Redding, performed “Scotland the Brave” on the bagpipes. 

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