Because Veterans Day falls on Sunday, the Veteran’s War Memorial of Texas will have its annual Veterans Day Celebration on Monday, Nov. 12 at 11 a.m. Sgt. Major Richard Clem will be keynote speaker.
Clem is recently retired from active duty at the White Sands Missile Base and has been to Afghanistan several times.
Events will start with the raising of the 150-foot high American flag owned by crane operator Jim Shawn. As the flag is raised, Steven Lopez, University of Texas-Pan American student, will sing the national anthem.
The McAllen Fire Department will present the colors. There will be ladder trucks displayed by the fire department on the grounds near the memorial.
There will also be a 21-gun salute held to honor veterans.
McAllen Mayor Richard Cortez will welcome Clem. Clem will combine the facts of Pearl Harbor and 911, talking about sneak attacks and the need to remain diligent in protecting our country.
Command Sergeant Major Clem (Ret.) graduated from Edinburg High School and immediately enlisted in the army. He has held many leadership positions including Team Chief, Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Drill Sergeant, Battalion Operations Sergeant, First Sergeant Major, Battalion Command Sergeant Commander and Brigade Command Sergeant Major.
He has served his country in Korea, Germany and Afghanistan.
His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal (with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters); the Army Commendation Medal (with 14 Oak Leaf Clusters); the Navy and Marine Medal; the Army Achievement Medal (with 7 Oak Leaf Clusters); the Good Conduct Medal (5th award); the National Defense Service Medal; the Southwest Asia Service Medal (with three Campaign Stars); the NCO Professional Development Ribbon (4th award); the Army Service Ribbon; the Kuwait Liberation Medal; and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. Unit decorations include: Joint Meritorious Medal; Valorous Unit Medal; and the Army Superior Medal. Foreign medals include: the German Sports Badge (both Bronze and Gold); Chilean Jump Wings. Badges include: the Air Assault Badge; the Parachutist Badge; the Drivers Badge; and the Drill Sergeant Badge.
Col. Frank Plummer, (Ret, USA) will discuss the upcoming dedication of the American Spire of Honor to be held April 19.
The McAllen High School band will play before, during and after the ceremony