South Bay News

Veterans Day ceremony held in Milpitas

Monday, November 11, 2013

More than 150 people gathered in Veterans Plaza behind Milpitas City Hall to honor the military men and woman who served their country. Dozens of veterans were there for the flag raising ceremony and patriotic music.

One mother brings her two kids here every year:

"The message that I want to instill in them is to serve their country. Everyone does their part to make it a better place. And people who are serving really do that and I thank them for their service," said Milpitas resident Jessica Ackerman.

"Because it's to support all the veterans that served our country," said Milpitas resident Caleb Wilson.

Korean War Veteran Lou Horyza served 23 years in the army. He also serves the Milpitas community in many ways through local government and charities. Today, he was given the Milpitas veterans of the year award.

"You kind of hope that you'll be recognized but when you are it really hits you down there. And it's a very proud moment and I'm still nervous about it," said Horyza.

Another Milpitas veteran also received a special honor during a somber ceremony. Henry Mattos wasn't here to see the plaque and bench dedicated in his honor in Veterans Plaza he died earlier this year at the age of 91. But his memory lives on. The World War II veteran was a Purple Heart recipient earned during the second wave at Normandy. His son was touched by the recognition.

"It means a lot. He served his country to the best of his ability. He was a Milpitas his whole life. He loved the country," said Jim Mattos.

The American Legion also handed out handmade poppies -- it is the memorial flower in honor of the military men and women who are no longer with us.

Also in the South Bay a big Veterans Day parade is taking place in downtown San Jose. The Martinez family of San Jose got a prime spot on Market Street. The father of John Martinez, Master Sergeant Richard Martinez, is believed to be the oldest reservist called up for the first Gulf War as a communications specialist.

In El Cerrito this morning, nearly six dozen Boy Scouts turned out at the Sunset View Cemetery to pay tribute to vets. The boys from various local troops fanned out to put miniature American flags on the gravestones of our military men and woman.

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Tags:
veterans day, milpitas, army, navy, air force, marines, south bay news, matt keller
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