Gerber Memorial honors service members at Veterans Day ceremony
FREMONT– Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial honored the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have served the nation in uniform at a Veterans Day ceremony on Monday.
“We’re here today to honor our heroes, to remember their achievements, their courage and their dedication, and to say thank you for their sacrifices,” said keynote speaker Beth Coulier, Gerber Memorial’s director of nursing. “Thinking of the heroes who join us in this group today and those who are here only in spirit, a person can’t help but feel awed by the enormity of what we encounter. We stand in the midst of patriots and the family and friends of those who have nobly served. The service members we honor today came from all walks of life, but they shared several fundamental qualities. They possessed courage, pride, determination, selflessness, dedication to duty and integrity – all the qualities needed to serve a cause larger than one’s self.”
The ceremony included a raising of the flag at Gerber Memorial’s Healing Garden and Memorial Walk, with the participation of Air Force 2nd Lt. Pete Modert. Around three dozen staff and guests attended the event.
Mary Johnson, RN, Gerber Memorial nursing supervisor, praised the courage of the men and women serving in uniform, both at the frontlines and away from combat.
“Courage doesn’t end at the battlefield,” said Johnson, who was also a medic in the Army National Guard treating combat veterans in the Persian Gulf. “It follows (service members) home, and we know we are seeing so many young men and women coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and it’s a whole different war than the Persian Gulf, than Korea, than Vietnam, than World War II. These people are coming home with head injuries, with PTS (post-traumatic stress), with amputations. And what courage it takes for them to continue on because that is a long, hard road.”