With the approach of Veterans Day, men and women across the country are pausing to reflect on their military careers while honoring the men and women who continue to serve today. For the veteran residents of Edgemere Senior Living, Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on their own service, while also remembering those who never made it home. The veterans along with their neighbors in the community will attend Edgemere’s upcoming Veterans Day celebration on Friday, November 11 beginning at 4:00 p.m. with a cocktail party and special ceremony to honor our nation’s heroes. This event will provide all the residents with a chance to come together and celebrate the 65 veteran residents who call Edgemere home, and one veteran, Rex Smith, who works as a team member in the community.
Smith, who is Edgemere’s human resources director, stated he is passionate about Veterans Day because of the special meaning it holds for him and so many others who have proudly served. “It was an honor to serve this great country, and it’s a privilege to engage with fellow veterans here at Edgemere,” said Smith. “The recognition and gratitude that the community will be offering through this ceremony says a great deal about Edgemere’s stance on supporting and honoring veterans.”
For a resident like Admiral Jim Eckelberger, the Veterans Day ceremony is a moment to pause and reflect on the 40-year career that made him who he is today. “Joining the military offered an opportunity to gain leadership experience that has continued to serve me to this day. I had the honor of serving with and leading incredible individuals, and it’s so meaningful to me to continue to pay tribute to them through this Veterans Day observance. Life in the military is not easy, and it takes a strong person to do it, but I’ll add that the toughest job in the Navy is that of a Navy wife.”
During the ceremony, the community’s military spouses – all of whom served their country in an incredibly special way – will also be recognized. Many of the veterans credit their wives with being the backbone of their families and the ones who truly sacrificed the most. For residents like Marianne Mead, whose husband served in the Navy, reflecting on his service and their time in the military is especially meaningful.
“As military wives we pitched in and did what we had to do,” said Mead. “I spent a lot of time writing letters to my husband when he was overseas. I used to write to him every day. I have 245 letters in a box that were written between us, and it’s so special to me to have them.”
Edgemere’s Veterans Day ceremony will include a bagpiper playing patriotic music, an honor guard and a bugler, and will be followed by a dinner celebration. The evening will culminate with recognition of each military branch, a toast, and then a playing of taps. The entire event will embody a night of patriotism and the deserved recognition of our nation’s heroes.
“Veterans Day creates an incredible and unique opportunity for all Americans to come together and look back,” said Charles Simmons, retired Naval aviator and Edgemere resident. “We’re grateful for the chance to have these activities, most initiated by our veterans here at Edgemere, and for the ability to recognize our military brothers and friends for what they’ve done. It’s an unspoken truth amongst all of us that we made it, and we’re grateful to be here, still able to share our stories.”
“At Edgemere we’re privileged to have an incredible group of individuals who have selflessly served our country,” said John Falldine, executive director of Edgemere. “We believe in the importance of honoring those who served our country, as well as those who continue to serve. It’s such an honor to know these heroes and to have the opportunity to hear their stories and pay tribute to the sacrifices they and their loved ones have made.”