WATSONVILLE — More than 200 people packed the Veterans Memorial Building Saturday to celebrate Veterans Day.
The ceremony traditionally begins with a parade that starts at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and ends at the Veterans Memorial Building.
Santa Cruz County Supervisor Greg Caput stressed the importance of acknowledging the veterans, by pointing out that the last known WWI survivor died in May 2011, and that few are left from WWII.
When he asked who was there from that war, a handful raised their hands, which brought the audience to its feet for a standing ovation.
“Can you imagine what this world would look like if we didn’t win that war,” Caput said.
Caput also thanked veterans from the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and for more recent ones in the Middle East.
“The ones that came back, and were in combat, they have the scars of war,” Caput said. “Sometimes that’s physical and sometimes that’s mental. We all appreciate you for what you did, we all respect you for what you did and we love you a whole lot.”
Rafael Hernandez was recognized as this year’s VFW Post 1716 Veteran of the Year, and James Carter, Sr. was honored as the American Legion Post 121 Veteran of the Year.