Written by Phil Cerroni
By Amanda Casanova
Days after the Presidential election, Irving community members set aside personal politics to honor the city’s veterans at the Irving Veterans Day program. The Nov. 9 ceremony at the Central Library boasted a room full of veterans and community leaders.
Irving’s military history spans decades, going as far back as World War I in 1914 when two Irving men were killed in the war. Irving residents served in World War II, the Korean War and an estimated 30 Irvingites were killed in the Vietnam War, according to the City of Irving. Even more have served in post-Vietnam battles.
“We do this today in honor of those who pledged to do what we can’t do for ourselves,” said Sharon Barbosa-Crain, of the Irving Veterans Memorial Park Committee. “We want to say thank you so much to those who gave their lives and those who served for us.”
The program included performances from the MacArthur High School Jazz Band, who kicked off the program with “The Star Spangled Banner.”
“So often we get lost in politics,” Mayor Beth Van Duyne said. “We might fight, but we have a fantastic country and a fantastic state. I love our city, and it’s because of the people in this room who served.”
In a divided time for the nation, John Danish, a former Irving council member, said veterans are a reminder of a country bigger than political sides and quarrels.
“When these veterans joined together in their fields of battle they weren’t saying ‘Are you Democrat or Republican?’” he said. “They were fighting for the United States of America.”
The program closed with the playing of “Taps” and the laying of a wreath at the Irving Veteran Memorial Park next to the library.
“We have to continue as a country and as individual to recognize and show our appreciation to those who are willing to fight for us, those who are willing to make the sacrifices necessary so the rest of us can enjoy this great nation,” City Councilman Joe Putnam told attendees.