Roseville remembers veterans

Hundreds turn out for ceremony
By: Nathan Donato-Weinstein The Press-Tribune
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For a little over an hour Tuesday, Roseville residents of all stripes put aside their differences to unite for a single purpose: giving thanks to those who served. About 400 men, women and children turned out at the World War II monument on Vernon Street for the city’s annual Veterans Day ceremony. Young and old, onetime service members and lifelong civilians alike, clutched miniature American flags and bowed their heads in unison in respect for those who sacrificed to make this country free. Veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq and Afghanistan were present amid Boy Scout troops and young families as speakers talked about service, sacrifice and the importance of remembering. “This is an important day of remembrance and we always need to keep in mind our armed forces – those that are with us and those that are not with us,” Mayor Jim Gray said. The ceremony, sponsored by the Roseville Historical Society, the city, SureWest Foundation and local vets’ groups, honored members of each branch of service who have served in every major American war, past and present. Tuesday’s event included a special focus on the Revolutionary War, with speakers including a Martha Washington actress and member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. “They were just a group of volunteers that wanted freedom,” said DAR member Susan Glover. “Please, please appreciate those freedoms.” But the message was the same no matter what the war, Supervisor Rocky Rockholm said. “The brave men and women serving in Iraq and Afganistan are no different than those that fought in the Revolutionary War,” he said. “They’re fighting for bravery and freedom.” It’s a tradition Roseville can be proud of, organizer John Piches said. During World War II, the city – population 5,600 – sent 20 percent of its citizens to aid the war effort, one of the highest service rates in the country. A plaque at the time inside City Hall identified those who were sent overseas, Piches recalled. “When people went to City Hall to pay their bills, some of them cried,” he said. It wasn’t the only Roseville event honoring those who have served. Roseville Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1487 held a ceremony Tuesday morning at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Royer Park.