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County supports its veterans

Ceremonies honoring veterans were held across Denton County last weekend, culminating with Monday’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony at the Courthouse on the Square in Denton, and we commend all who helped support the various events.

Monday’s ceremony was sponsored by the Denton County Veterans Service Office, in cooperation with the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University, and it was attended by hundreds of onlookers.

The program featured participants that included Veterans Services Officer Paul Bastaich, the Sam Houston Singers, Denton County commissioners, Denton Mayor Mark Burroughs, officials from Texas Woman’s University and the University of North Texas, state Rep. Myra Crownover, U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess and others.

Burgess delivered remarks during the ceremony along with Richard Nicholas, TWU vice president of student life, and Jean Keller, UNT vice president of engagement.

Members of several area veterans’ groups participated, and the keynote speaker for the ceremony was Assistant District Attorney and U.S. Army veteran Forest Beadle.

In his remarks, Bastaich shared his heroes with those gathered on the courthouse lawn. His heroes don’t wear capes and tights or have names like Superman, he said.

“My heroes list goes on and on. There are 42,000-plus heroes in Denton County alone. Many of you know them — they go by the term of veteran. I call them my heroes.”

Frances Bishop, who was on hand for the ceremony with her daughter, said she was grateful that Denton goes all out every year and does something to say thank you.

We agree. Monday’s ceremony provided a fitting and moving tribute to our veterans, and we were impressed by the number of people who turned out to participate.

Bishop, who said she has deep family ties to military service, also told us that she believes the ceremony is a great tool to help teach the younger generation about the meaning of the day.

“They have to learn it sometime and someplace. It’s fine to try and teach it at home, but there is something about ceremony that really instills it,” she said.

Bishop is correct. It’s our responsibility to make sure the meaning of Veterans Day is passed on to future generations. And thanks to all of those who gathered at the Square on Monday and others who took part in the various salutes to veterans across the county, we are confident this important lesson will continue to be emphasized.

We are grateful and proud to be in a county and a city where people pause to pay tribute to our heroes on Veterans Day.

Monday’s celebration and the planning and dedication that went into making it possible should serve as an example to other cities and communities where such observances are not treated as a priority.

Thanks to all who participated.