Staff phot by Dean Borgwardt
VETERANS of the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard as well as Verde Valley firefighters and police officers were honored during Veterans Day ceremonies at Riverfront Park on Nov. 11.
More than 200 attended the event to honor the 44 million veterans who have or are still serving in the armed forces and the police and firefighters who fight to keep citizens free from harm.
Clarkdale Police Officer Tommy Nester is a retired U.S. Army sergeant major. Nester designed the memorial when it was suggested that there was a need for one in the community.
"The mayor, our post commander and myself were at a firefighters' dinner discussing the need for a memorial in the town," he said. "Then it was suggested that we recognize our police officers and firefighters as well."
He added that this was the largest turn out at a Veteran's Day ceremony so far.
"It was an outstanding event," he said. "There was in excess of 200 at the event, plus about 100 each at the potluck dinners at the VFW Post 7400 and the American Legion in Cottonwood."
He added that the Clarkdale Police Department, Cottonwood Police Department, Cottonwood Fire Department, American Legion Post 25, VFW Post 7400, the Ladies Auxiliary, and members of the Clarkdale Elks and the Moose lodges attended.
"Our veterans help shape the destiny of America and we recognize them out of love, because freedom isn't free." Nester said.