BERKLEY, Mich. – A century ago, Nov. 11 was known as Armistice Day. That changed in 1952 to become Veterans Day, which has become a touchstone for everyone to remember the sacrifices made by men and women who serve the country.
Snow couldn’t stop a special ceremony in Berkley to honor those who made great sacrifices.
Brave soldiers have fought and died in worse weather than what Metro Detroit got in Monday. A small crowd steeled to the cold and wet and veterans gathered with the Honor Guard to pay their respects to all who have served.
John Fulks, of Berkley VFW Post 9220, did the honors.
“And so today we honor all of our veterans who unselfishly placed their lives in the line of our freedom,” Fulks said.
A Color Guard raised and lowered the flag to half staff. Flowers were left at the memorial facing Coolidge Highway with the message, “Freedom isn’t free.”
“The freedom we enjoy is extremely special and that we must defend it,” Fulks said.
A prayer was followed by the 21 gun salute.
Fulks served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. He said he worries about how other veterans who haven’t made the transition home as well as others. He said he and his VFW unit do what they can to help.
“Especially on a day like today,” Fulks said. “You don’t want any homeless veterans out there. You want to do what you can, and that’s why we’re here.”
Fulks said Veterans Day is for everyone, and he believes today’s soldiers have it tougher than he did.
“When we went, we went for a period of time and came home,” Fulks said. “Today they come and go and it can be seven or eight times. It’s a lot harder on your family now.”
That’s why members of the community gathered Monday to pay their respects as the flowers and flags became covered in snow.