The sacrifice of American veterans was not forgotten in Hesperia on Veterans Day.


Veteran and active military service members were honored with a Veterans Day ceremony at the Hesperia Lake Park.


Under breezy skies, about 200 people gathered side by side: veterans, active military, dignitaries, adults and children. Red, white and blue ribbons were tied on the park's war monuments. Hesperia Garden Club members placed a memorial wreath in front of the monuments. Boy Scouts troops handed out programs.


The ceremony began with Hesperia Recreation and Park District General Manager Cal Camara asking for a moment of silence for board member, Richard Lupton's passing.


The crowd watched as the American and Prisoner of War, Missing in Action, flags were raised by American Legion Post 725.


Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine military songs drifted through the air. Service members stood as their branch's song was sung.


Assemblyman Anthony Adams shared how his father had served in the Air Force, and recalled being a young man living overseas, seeing good people stand up for their country.


"The greatest honor is to call myself an American," Adams said.


Pat Banttari, President of the Hesperia Garden Club, read names of local fallen heroes. Mothers stood up for their fallen children.


"Pray for their safe return," Banttari said.


"Military service demands a special kind of sacrifice," Allan Kumlin, of the Point Man International support group, told the crowd. "To honor our veterans, we must keep our promise we made to them, to take care of them, to always remember them."


As the ceremony concluded, Boy Scout Troop 725 explained what each fold in the American flag signified. Hesperia Recreation and Park District board member Bob Chandler and his wife Verna released a cluster of doves. A trumpeter played Taps to conclude the ceremony.


Hesperia resident Jim Huggins and his wife Joyce attended the ceremony Wednesday. Huggins did three tours with the Navy in Vietnam during the 1970s. Today, Huggins is involved in various veteran outreach programs: He participates in the Run to the Wall (the Healing Wall), Point Man International Ministries and Vietnam Veterans of America.


His homecoming consisted of thrown tomatoes, with him being the target. It's different for service members now he said.


"It makes me proud, how they're treated," he said. "We're never going to leave them behind again."


For more information, contact Point Man International Ministries at (760) 244-4168, American Legion Post 725 at (760) 947-0066, Gold Star Mothers at goldstarmothers.org, Vietnam Veterans of America at vva785.org and Run for the Wall rftw.org.


Sharon Strickland can be reached at 956-7827 or at sharon@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/HesperiaStar.