San Jacinto Valley salutes American veterans

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Rep. Raul Ruiz of California’s 36th District honors veterans for the service at A Salute to Veterans at Golden Era Productions Golf Course, Monday, Nov. 11. Courtesy photo

SAN JACINTO – U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz of California’s 36th District joined hundreds of veterans, families, friends and community organizations from the San Jacinto Valley at the 12th annual Veterans Day Ceremony, held at the Golden Era Golf Course Monday, Nov. 11.

“This is a holy day for veterans,” Ruiz said. “It is our veterans, who have put their country above themselves, that have made the United States of America the most remarkable and strongest nation in the world.”

He stressed that all citizens uphold a strong sense of community for those who have served and “respect and treat our veterans with acts of kindness,” adding that “our doors are open to any veteran who needs assistance.”

Ruiz presented a U.S. Congressional Recognition to World War II veteran and Hemet resident Dwaine “Bud” Arland, who served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years. Arland has continued to serve his country through recent years as a community volunteer helping underprivileged children in the Valley.

The congressman recognized the Hemet Elks, Authority Real Estate of Hemet and Golden Era Productions, the community organizations that sponsored the annual tribute.

“The event, called A Salute to Our Veterans, honored men and women of our nation’s armed services for their bravery, dedication and contribution to freedom in America,” Muriel Dufresne, community affairs director with Golden Era Productions, said.

The ceremony opened with a flyover tribute by the Props and Jet Museum of Hemet and a procession across the green by bagpipers from the University of California Riverside Pipe Band, performing “A Scottish Soldier.” Riding in the bagpipers’ wake was the Riverside County Sheriff’s Hemet Department Mounted Posse, who presented the colors.

The San Jacinto High School chamber choir performed the national anthem, and the award-winning San Jacinto High School ROTC rifle drill team demonstrated a drill routine.

U.S. Navy veteran Virgal Woolfolk, a Beaumont resident who was part of the military task force to free the American hostages in Iran and later served during the Gulf War, delivered the invocation.

“For each and every veteran who has served our country through the years, we thank you for your sacrifice. Comfort those who struggle in life after war. Help us to honor and care for those who have given so much for us,” he said.

The ceremony culminated with a five-gun salute by the American Legion Post 53 Honor Detail team and an all-audience rendition of “America the Beautiful,” led by Linda Greilich of Golden Era Productions and the San Jacinto High School chamber choir.

The Veterans Day celebration at Golden Era Golf Course included two flights of free golf for all veterans and a complimentary luncheon served by Authority Real Estate.

Submitted by Golden Era Productions.