Moreno Valley, CA (PRWEB) August 18, 2014
With over 150 veterans and local community members and political leaders on hand, the Riverside National Cemetery Memorial Honor Detail, consisting of veterans representing all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, was celebrated here during a presentation that sought to create awareness of the importance of volunteerism in the community. The event was held in front of the soon-to-be-completed Renaissance Village Rancho Belago, a luxury senior living facility, which is expected to open in October.
The proceedings kicked off with the troops marching in lock step to present the colors and raise the first US Flag over the new community. Forty military veterans took part in the ceremony. The all-volunteer Memorial Honor Detail has provided honors at Riverside National Cemetery for more than 35,000 deceased veterans at no charge since the group’s inception in 1996.
Master Gunnery Sergeant Dan Smith, the chairman of the honor detail believes it is important for his group to continue to honor deceased veterans. “All the men and women we do military honors for have given all that they had. We have volunteers right now, some as old as 95 years old.” Earlier, Smith presented Al Rattan, President of Continental East Development, with the Challenge Coin from the United States Marines, indicating that Mr. Rattan and the Renaissance team were “part of the unit” and valued partners.
During the opening remarks, Rattan spoke of his son, an active Marine Corp. captain serving in Afghanistan. He also mentioned his own 28 years of service as a volunteer with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and cited the volunteer spirit as exemplified by the Memorial Honor Detail. “What’s interesting is that all of these men have served actively in the service, and here even in their senior years, they’re showing up in uniform. And when families need their services, most of them are not even aware that it’s absolutely free, so we wanted to get them out here today to raise our first flag here at Renaissance.”
Mr. Rattan described the “Renaissance Lifestyle,” which includes not only an active and engaging lifestyle for our seniors but adding the important aspect of volunteerism for all ages and abilities. (http://www.renaissancevillagesl.com/)
When asked what he would say to young people who may not understand the importance of volunteering, Sergeant Smith did not hesitate.
“You live in the greatest country in the world, and it’s only going to continue to be great as long as we have young people stepping up to the plate, willing to do great things and make sacrifices. The road has already been paved for you. All you have to do is pick up the torch and carry on.”
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