Each year at Cypress Village the community’s Veterans Committee holds events honoring veterans who have made Cypress Village their home. This year for Veterans Day the community celebrated the unveiling of the new Veteran’s Wall and hosted the annual Veterans Day dinner to honor the dedication and commitment of the 124 current veterans, as well as the spouses and widows of those who served our country – many of whom served during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars.
At 11 a.m. in the Cypress Village Train lobby filled with veterans, their families, residents and employees, Veterans Committee chair Bill Wirth led the community in the unveiling of the new wall.
“Somewhere near the beginning our adult lives,” he said, “many of us had the opportunity to serve our country as a member of one of the Armed Forces. Most of us would look back and understand that it was an experience that gave early and lasting shape to our character… After those years of service ended, we were better individuals than we were before our service began. We are nostalgic about our comrades, and we try to regain just a taste of those friendships when we gather on patriotic occasions here at Cypress Village to share some of our military history with other veterans.”
The wall was created as a collaboration with Cypress Village management and the Veterans Committee. The display was created by resident Mike Boutin and the Community Life Services Department to include the names of all active veteran residents and employees, widows and widowers, along with their branches of service.
The vinyl presentation of the United States flag along with the iconic scene of the flag raising at Iwo Jima was designed by Fast Signs in Jacksonville. The bronze crests of each branch of service were special-ordered by the residents through Metal Designs NY. And the hand-stained wood frame was the work of resident Floren Fisher as a part of the Cypress Village Wood Workshop.
After the unveiling, residents and their families gathered for photographs, shared stories of their service, and participated in friendly banter between the different branches of the Armed Forces that were present. Jim Jandreau, a member of the Cypress Village Veterans Committee, also showcased the newest Army standard uniform – a homage to the WW ll uniform, bringing back the traditional pinks and greens.
That evening, all 124 resident veteran service members were invited to a special presentation in Egret Hall to honor their hard work and celebrate their service to the country. Additional remarks were heard from Wirth and the Veterans Committee, the colors were presented by the Cypress Village Color Guard, a special thank you was given from Ty Morgan, executive director of the community, and all the residents joined in singing the different service songs for each branch.
A lone table sat empty, set to remind those in attendance of the soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen who have never returned from the conflicts America has endured over its history.
This year’s dinner consisted of three courses, including filet mignon and seared shrimp, and a chocolate bomb dessert mousse. Cypress Village’s executive chef Patrick called it an honor to be able to serve such a group of residents, and many in attendance listed this as their favorite event of the year.
“We are so thankful for our veterans” said Morgan. “It is our honor and our privilege to serve them as they have done so willingly for us. It is events like today that remind us why we do what we do, and who we are doing it for.”
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