Community members joined veterans representing various branches of the military in a celebration of appreciation and remembrance Saturday morning at Hastings Masonic Center. Nineteen veterans support groups displayed wreaths near the front of the stage to honor and thank veterans and their families for their sacrifices made to keep America free.
Command Sgt. Maj. Rick Matticks, whose first military assignment was in Hastings, shared memories from his distinguished military career, which spans more than a quarter century of service.
“We’ve lost so many good men and women who have given their lives in defense of our country,” he said. “Between their families and those of us who served with them, we will never forget their sacrifice. We take every opportunity we can to show our appreciation, to show our gratitude, to show our sorrow.”