Under a trio of large trees, hundreds of members of the military past and present, and their families, and those grateful for their service and sacrifice, gathered at the Friendswood Veterans Memorial next to City Hall on Monday morning (May 30).
All were welcomed by Mayor Kevin Holland. “We include those who were young GI’s in the Pacific, or Europe, or elsewhere during World War 2. Truly, you are the Greatest Generation! We include those who braved the mountains of Korea, the jungles of Vietnam or served anywhere else between the end of World War 2 and 9/11.”
“We all remember where we were on 9/11. In the years since, we have seen wars fought a different way, but with no less of a sacrifice for the men and women of our military, and their families. Today we honor all who have served, and their families, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice to maintain our liberty,” Holland said.
In front of the Memorial which was dedicated exactly six years ago, Holland observed, “When we look at this memorial, we see a flag and a reflection. A reflection of our history, a reflection of our diversity, a reflection of our character. For we are all different, yet we are all Americans. God bless our military, past and present, and their families, God bless Friendswood, and God bless America.”
He was followed by a stirring reminder of the cost of war, by Marine Corps Colonel Todd Desgrosseilliers, a 30-year veteran with extensive experience at all levels within the organization. Colonel Desgrosseilliers provided details of the area servicemen and servicewomen who have recently given their lives to preserve freedom.
Desgrosseilliers received the Silver Star Medal for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Officer-in-Charge, Task Force Bruno, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division, 1 Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. In addition to the Silver Star Medal, Col. Desgrosseilliers has earned the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Following the ceremony, past and present members of the military gathered for the annual Friendswood group photo.
(Photos by Kathy Hickey)