Clovis honors Veterans

Clovis Veterans Memorial District CEO Lorenzo Rios (far left) stands at attention as the colors are presented on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2018. Ron Sundquist/Clovis Roundup

Clovis Veterans Memorial District honored veterans and active military members Sunday, Nov. 11 with a day-long celebration.

The event kicked off at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast hosted by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) chapter. Then, throughout the day, CVMD provided multiple attractions for visitors, including a car show, live musical performances, photo galleries, kids activities, booths and veteran documentaries.

The annual free Veterans Day celebration is just an example of Clovis Veterans Memorial District’s mission, says CEO Lorenzo Rios.

“The District engages the community because that’s our mission,” he said. “Established in 1946, our charge is to honor our veterans by creating programs that allow them to come together to make a difference in the community. But it’s also an opportunity to work with the community to let them know what the veterans do for them every day. One percent of our country volunteers to serve our nation. That puts a responsibility on those who serve veterans to make sure the public understands what that sacrifice looks like and what the cost of freedom really is.”

For veterans like August Flach, a past VFW commander and newly elected CVMD board member, Veterans Day symbolizes an appreciation for those that have served the country at any point in time.

“Personally, it’s a time for me to remember all veterans and those currently serving,” Flach said. “[Veterans Day] is about them. It’s to honor them and their service.”

As opposed to Memorial Day, Veterans Day should be celebrated instead of mourned as it celebrates the service of U.S. military veterans from the five branches, added Rios.

“[Veterans Day] is a day that I get to celebrate with my peers who have served and answer questions, and share stories with the community,” said Rios. “Today is not a day to mourn losses, it’s a day to celebrate the service of veterans currently serving and veterans who have served before and are now working in the community. It’s an opportunity for them to come out and share their stories but also for the community to take a moment to remember where this freedom comes from.”