Hunt County Veterans Day observances planned

Jon McFadden , Writer

Waves of Glory in Commerce’s City Park | John Parsons

As COVID-19 continues to force cancellation of many things, two Commerce groups are working  to ensure that honoring those who have and are serving won’t be overlooked this Veterans Day. 

The Rotary Club of Commerce and the Texas A&M University-Commerce Veterans and Military  Services office have each slated events to honor and memorialize veterans. 

Following a successful inaugural year in 2019, the Rotary Club of Commerce is planning the  second annual Waves of Glory display at Commerce City Park on Park Street, Nov. 7 – 13. An  opening ceremony was scheduled at the presentation site at 11 a.m. on Nov. 7, and several state and local  dignitaries were invited to speak. 

Last year, a field of 100 red, white and blue United States flags, tagged with the name of a Hunt  County veteran, was displayed at the park. This year, project coordinator Jim Ayres anticipates a display  of over 200 flags after adding first responders to the list of those who may be honored. 

“COVID-19 has brought the role of first responders to the forefront,” Ayres said, “and we  wanted to recognize their service as well.” 

The flags, spread over a large area of the park, will be displayed for come-and-go viewing,  making this a social distancing friendly event. 

The club is seeking nominations for honorees whose name, photo and description of their  service will be included on a tag attached to a flag. Any Hunt County veteran, living or deceased, as well  as current or past first responders, may be nominated on the event website, 

The Waves of Glory flag display is the result of a challenge by a recent Rotary district governor  for clubs in the district to seek ways to spotlight veterans. 

“Having lost my own father in Vietnam when I was just a young boy, I always seek opportunities  to honor those that have served,” Ayres said. 

“This is an example of the Rotary motto ‘Service Above Self’ in action, it takes all of us to  accomplish, but it is important to remember those who have served,” said Mike Morrow, president of  the Rotary Club of Commerce. 

The Veterans Vigil committee of the Veterans and Military Services office at A&M-Commerce is  planning the annual Veterans Vigil and will be held virtually this year. The event typically includes a  keynote speaker, a vigil flame display, a luncheon, and closing ceremonies. 

A&M-Commerce President  Mark Rudin will convey his video-recorded thoughts to honor veterans on Nov. 11; additional details will be announced soon. 

Several student veterans will share pre-recorded video comments about what being a veteran  means to them, along with their student experience and educational goals. 

“In short, our students are the special guests this year,” Dustin Pearson, veterans service manager for the university, said. 

Those seeking additional information about the Veterans Vigil can contact Pearson at  [email protected]