The City of Oakley held their Inaugural Veterans Day Observance Ceremony yesterday which was a beautiful event and provided every sort of emotion one could imagine. Oakley represented itself well to the veterans and I am damn proud to live in a community that cares.
What was neat about the event is the two winners from the essay contest were able to read their essays at the event and I don’t think their was a dry eye in the area after they were done. Iron House Elementary School, 5th Grader Malik Jamal Maxwell spoke about how is father was his military hero and had passed away in combat from friendly fire. and Delta Vista Middle School, 6th Grader Maryah Allen wrote about her uncle and all he had done and the sacrifices he has made away from his family.
Pearl Harbor Survivor, Chuck Kohler was the Keynote speaker and he did not disappoint as Mayor Kevin Romick wrote a poem that Mr. Kohler wrote after visiting Pearl Harbor 64-years later for the first time. One Mr. Kohler took the microphone, he told one of the most interesting and animated stories on his experience during the attack on Pearl Harbor–I hope someone has it on video somewhere.
Oakley Councilman and newly elected Assemblyman Jim Frazier also spoke at the event stating “Everyday should be veterans day” while Supervisor Mary Piepho also provided kind words of support to our veterans. A representative from Congressman John Garamendi’s office also spoke.
Kudos to city staff great job in coordinating the event. Events like this makes me think the City of Oakley should create a “Veterans Committee” going forward that could partner with our local groups to further honor our troops throughout the year as Kevin Romick would be a perfect and natural fit for this if it ever became a reality.
Also in attendance was:
- Vice Mayor Carol Rios
- Councilman Randy Pope
- Council members elect Diane Burgis and Doug Hardcastle
By Michael Burkholder