Real Heroes Don't Wear Capes

Citrus Heights, CA  |  By Elise Spleiss
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Lou Borovansky and Doug Borges shared their memories at the Sylvan Cemetery Veterans Day event. Photo by Heidi Borges

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Veterans Honored at Citrus Heights Veteran’s Day Service

Citrus Heights, CA (MPG) - Veteran’s Day, or what was formerly Armistice Day is celebrated every year on November 11. Services begin at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month. This is the exact date and time during World War I (WWI) when the armistice or cease fire was reached between the Allied countries including the United States, and Germany in 1918. An act of Congress changed the name to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all who had served in the U.S. military since its birth.

The traditional procession through the cemetery prior to the ceremony at the gazebo was led by the Citrus Heights Police (CHDP) motor brigade, followed by CHDP Honor Guard, American Legion (AL) Post 637, Boy Scout Troop 228, members of the police department, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) rifle team, and members of the community.

The Folsom Harmony Express chorus paused their patriotic songs while the CHPD color guard presented the colors. Acting Post 637 Chaplain Al Schuler said a prayer and led the pledge of allegiance.

Representing the Citrus Heights City Council members present, Mayor Jeff Slowey greeted attendees and thanked the veterans for their service. Police Chief Ron Lawrence noted the close bond between the military and police officers, resulting from the nature of their work to protect the public often at the risk of their own lives. He recalled the inspirational story of Captain Charlie Plumb, a former Navy Fighter Pilot who, after 74 successful flights over Vietnam, was shot down on his 75th mission, only five days before the end of his tour.  He was 24 when he parachuted into enemy territory over Hanoi and was captured.

Plumb served his 6 years as a prisoner of war (POW) in an 8x8 windowless cell with no books, paper or pens. He was tortured and dehumanized. His wife, believing him to be dead, remarried while he was gone. Lawrence noted that Plumb had come out of this experience stronger, recognizing that all adversity is an opportunity to be ones best self. Plumb continues to carry his message of what he has learned from his imprisonment to audiences around the world.

AL Post 637 Commander Paul Reyes thanked Boy Scout Troop 228 for faithfully volunteering at every Memorial and Veterans service at Sylvan to put up the many flags lining the Avenue of Flags.

American Legion member and Master of Ceremonies Jim Monteton gave a brief history of World War I (WWI) and of America’s 13- month involvement in the four-year war. He spoke of WWI being known as the “War to End All Wars”, as our country had no idea there would be a ‘sequel’ in twenty years. Monteton quoted the Greek philosopher Plato’s ironic words, “only the dead have seen the end of war.”