There is a common bond between veterans and those who are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. A sense of duty, acceptance of risks, dedication to freedom and democracy.
This is what Vietnam Veteran Jim Bowers said during Ormond Beach's Veterans Day Celebration held at the Ormond Beach senior center on Thursday, Nov. 7. In front of the sold-out room of city leaders, veterans and their family members, Bowers spoke about the importance to remember those who served and what their commitment means.
“Freedom and liberty are the birthright of every American, but we have had to fight for it," Bowers said. "Maintaining the strength of the American ideal requires courage and constant vigilance among those who envy what we often take for granted.”
Veterans Day means more to veterans than just a holiday, said Bowers, who is also part of the American Legion Post 267. It's a day to remember the generations of men and women "who have shouldered the burden to serve" and for Americans to consider the freedoms they enjoy.
"It is a day to think about the awesome responsibility that is ours, and what it takes to maintain this land of the free," Bowers said. "This home of the brave.”
Mayor Bill Partington issued a proclamation at the event and highlighted the liberties veterans fought to protect.
“It’s critical that we take a few moments and say thank you for that," Partington said.
Ormond Strong provided medallions for the veterans in attendance and vowed to continue to support the veteran community indefinitely. Ormond Strong, a local nonprofit, walks the Granada Bridge regularly.
At the end of his speech, Bowers told the stories of three veterans, and urged those in the room to ask someone else for their stories. Those stories are "one of the most powerful weapons" to secure a future for men and women who will serve in the years to come.
“We must remain committed to a stronger nation and to our veterans, for it is our veterans who have sacrificed and paid the highest price for all of us," Bowers said.