A big milestone to remember Wednesday, as the Santa Maria community recognized the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the 50th anniversary of Vietnam and 15 years of the Freedom Monument Veteran’s Memorial.
“Our nation owes a great debt to its veterans whose service to the country spans every decade, every year of America’s existence,” says Alice Patino, Mayor of Santa Maria to the ceremony crowd.
“Oh I love these ceremonies – we’re here to respect these guys here and it brings a lot of memories back.,” Manny Hernandez, a Vietnam Army veteran says.
“I saw a lot of people do a lot of very brave things – I personally was not involved in most of them because I was above it – I never dropped a bomb below 30 thousand feet,” Vietnam Air Force Veteran Carl Holmquist tells us.
And for the younger generation, some learning about these veterans for the first time, they say they are happy to have these heroes fighting for our freedom.
“These people were the bravest people around and they really stood up for what they believed in and I think that’s just amazing,” says 8th Grader Jonah Mabanshe from St. Mary of the Assumption School
For the next week the Remembering Our Fallen Exhibit will be at the Maldonado Youth Center to help honor those who died serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Outside of the center is also the permanent veterans memorial that remembers 112 fallen heroes from Santa Maria.