Irving – Irving residents remembered and honored those in the Armed Forces who died during their service. The event, which took place on Sunday, May 30, in the Jack D. Huffman Community Building, featured guest speakers, the Silvertones, and the laying of a wreath in the Irving Veterans Memorial Park.
“I am still learning about Memorial Day,” high school student Melvin French said. “This is for our veterans but it is different from Veteran’s Day. This one is to remember the ones who fought and died for our country.”
“Memorial Day is important to me,” Ken White said. “I was named after my uncle Fred. He landed on the beach of Normandy in 1942, stepped on a landmine, and is buried in France. This is an important day for us as we remember all of those people who fell on that day and all of those who died for our freedom.”
“We want to we remember those who gave their life for our country,” Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer said. “This is an opportunity to come together as a city and talk about those sacrifices.
“It is a great way for us to spend time in the Veterans Memorial Park. I really believe this is one of the best memorial parks in the state.
“We also get to hear some great speakers and the Silvertones. It is important to respect and remember on our long weekend; it is the least we can do. I am excited Irving continues to make this a priority. It is so easy to get lost in the business and the shuffle, but the committee puts on a fantastic program each year, and we are so grateful for that.”
The Veterans Memorial Park Committee presented the event.
“This is one of the two events this committee organizes each year,” Sharon Barbosa-Crain, a committee member, said. “We look to those who fought for our country, and we need to remember those who died fighting for us. We owe who we are, what we are, and how we are in our country to those who died fighting for us. We need to honor those who could not stay with us on this day of remembering.”
“People have different feelings about this day, but for me and for the people here, we are honoring those who have fallen,” guest speaker, Councilman Mark Zeske, said. “I think the committee chooses politicians. I do not feel like that; I feel like I am a teacher. So I am going to go out there and teach another lesson. Remind all of us why we are here.
“We have a fabulous memorial park here. Veterans and those sacrifices are so important to our community. This is another thing that makes Irving unique. We have a history that reminds us to be thankful to be Americans, and that is great.”
Vietnam Veteran David Gutierrez spoke about being a member of the Armed Services.
“When I wear this uniform, I feel invincible,” Gutierrez said. “Everyone who joins the military knows what the risks are, and they are all willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. I have tears, because I am so proud of everyone who is willing to die for our country. I have tears in my eyes remembering those people who died. Only the ones who have been there really know what Memorial Day is all about. Let us remember and let those who have fallen know we appreciate them.”
“While this is a memorial, it is also so nice to get out of the house and back to these events,” Judy Tuggle said. “My husband was a veteran and is buried at the Veterans Cemetery. Going to these events was important for him. Now that we are able to get out safely again, I wanted to come out and honor the veterans.
“We go to the Heritage Center, so we also like to listen to the Silvertones and support them. It is so important to be part of the community.”