Remembering fallen veterans

A plaque set into the base of the flag pole at Solvang Park bears the names of 18 Santa Ynez Valley veterans who died before making it back home. All American military men and women will be honored in a Veterans Day event presented by VFW Post 7139 in the Solvang Veterans Memorial Building.

All American veterans who have fought, were wounded or died for freedom since the War of Independence will be honored Monday in Solvang with an event marking the 100th anniversary of Veterans Day.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7139 is sponsoring the Veterans Day program starting at 11 a.m. in the Solvang Veterans Memorial Building at 1745 Mission Drive.

Alvin Salge, commander of VFW Post 7139, noted that Veterans Day began as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1918, when fighting ceased in World War I.

That war was known as “the war to end all wars,” but it failed that purpose, as major and minor wars have broken out around the globe ever since, each one fought with more sophisticated weapons and tactics.

Today, the war on terror pits American military personnel against elusive enemies who often hide in plain sight among the everyday people of foreign countries where terrorist activities are tolerated if not supported.

“This year we especially honor Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans,” Salge said. “These wars have been drawn out for 18 years, longer than any wars in which the U.S. has been involved.

“Even now our active duty veterans are still finishing up operations against ISIS and continue fighting the Afghan insurgents,” he continued. “China is challenging the U.S. in the Pacific, and Russia is challenging in Europe.

“Our current and past veterans never hesitate to complete their duties and assignments with utmost courage,” he said. “We honor our troops around the world and those who are still countering our current threats.”

Salge said the Veterans Day program Monday will include several speakers, patriotic music and a luncheon.

“We invite all veterans, their families and caring citizens to attend,” he said. “We also welcome veterans from allied countries who fought beside our service men and women.”

This report was compiled by Mike Hodgson, news editor for the Santa Ynez Valley News. He can be reached at mhodgson@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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News Editor

Mike Hodgson is news editor at the Santa Ynez Valley News, where he writes about local government, special events and the people who live in the Valley. He has been a photographer, writer, news editor and managing editor at weekly newspapers since 1972

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