Mesquite Holds Honor Ceremony For Veterans

Carlos Campos, who is a MPD officer and U.S. Marine veteran, speaks at the annual Veterans Day Honor Ceremony held Saturday at Pioneer Park in Mesquite while Mesquite mayor Al Litman looks on. PHOTO BY BOBBIE GREEN/The Progress

Pioneer Park in Mesquite was once again alive with patriots on Saturday morning, Nov. 6. They came to show their respect for U.S. Veterans at the annual Veteran’s Day Flagraising Ceremony. The ceremony celebrates Veterans Day a little early and on the weekend in order to accommodate the Veterans Day Parade on a Saturday.

Bagpiper Dennis Hangey and bugler Carolyn Waley, both longtime participants in this annual ceremony, provided their customary musical contributions before, during and after the service.

The memorial service was led by Mesquite Mayor Al Litman, who is himself a Vietnam veteran.

After the Honor Guard presentated the Colors, the pledge and the National Anthem the Mayor introduced the Grand Marshal of the Veterans Day Parade, Major Brian D. Cornett, United States Air Force, Retired.

The mayor presented Cornett with a plaque and Cornett reminded everyone that because a serviceman has left the military does not mean he has stopped serving his country.
“Many go on to service in another way, like Mayor Litman serving his community as Mayor,” Cornett said. “Many go into law enforcement or fire service or other community-oriented careers or organizations that serve their countrymen.”

Litman reminded the attendees that not all veterans are seniors. “We have several younger veterans among us,” Litman said. “Many continue to serve on the Mesquite Fire & Rescue Department or on the Mesquite Police Department.”

Litman introduced nine of these at the ceremony. They included Army veterans Jeff Smith and Gus Garcia; Marine veterans Brad Swanson, Esteban Andrade, Zeb Jensen and Carlos Campos; Air Force veteran Eric Baron; and Navy veteran Troy Robb.

Carlos Campos was a speaker at the event. He humbly thanked everyone for their service and defined qualities that all these veterans have in common. These included selflessness, determination, courage, pride, and dedication to duty.

The Glory Girls of the Methodist Church Choir sang a medley of patriotic songs for the audience.
Attendees enjoyed the early morning ceremony as a regular tradition for the Veterans Day holiday.
“We come to this service every year,” said Mesquite resident Deb Manor who was in attendance. “The mayor always does a great job!”

The Service was also attended by a Shriners’ Group from Salt Lake City, Utah. This group has been coming to participate in the Mesquite Veterans Day Parade for many years. They show their respect by also attending the early morning Veterans Day Service.

Litman concluded the ceremony by thanking the people who made the ceremony possible, including The Glory Girls, Harold Straley, Carolyn Waley, Dennis Hangey, Shelly Piper Martin, the Honor Guard and all veterans and attendees.