The Anthem Community Council invites the public to attend the annual Veterans Day Ceremony at 10 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 11, at the Anthem Veterans Memorial. The program will honor the service of all veterans and their families. The ceremony concludes at 11:11 a.m., in honor of Armistice, with the solar illumination of the glass mosaic of the Great Seal of the United States through the five armed services pillar ellipses (weather permitting).
The ceremony also marks the tenth anniversary of the Anthem Veterans Memorial (AVM), and as such, will come with added fanfare. Dedicated on Veterans Day in 2011, the memorial received Arizona Historic Landmark status in 2012. That same year, the memorial was the recipient of the Arizona Public Works Project of the Year Award and the Grand Award–Best Engineering and Environmental Consulting Project from the American Consulting Engineers Companies. The AVM also is designated as a Vietnam War Commemoration Partner.
• Admiral Tom Fargo (USN, Retired) will serve as the keynote speaker.
• Lt. Col. Mark Clifford (USAF, Retired) will present the Veteran’s Perspective.
• Dr. Timothy Swindle, director of the University of Arizona Space Institute and the Arizona Space Grant Consortium, will provide a brief history about the extensive role Arizona has played in the space program prior to the U.S. Space Force dedication into the Memorial. The United States Space Force (USSF), the newest branch of the Department of the Defense, will be dedicated into the Anthem Veterans Memorial with the implementation of the service flag.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the AVM, the original five branch pillars will be rededicated by local veterans including: Major General Lou Prentiss (USA, Ret.); Chuck Hale (Sgt., USMC), SCPO Darlene Gonzales (USN, Ret.), Colonel Tom Kirk (USAF, Ret.), and Lt. Commander Stephen Goodman (USCG, Ret.).
• Lt. Colonel Amber Cargile (USAF, Ret.) will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies and the Rev. Mac McElroy will provide the invocation.
• Rear Admiral Ron Tucker (USN, Ret.), the founder of the AVM, will provide a look back on the last ten years.
• Musical Theatre of Anthem and ProMusica Arizona, both of which have performed at ceremonies since 2011, will provide special music.
The event will conclude with a military flyover (pending final Luke AFB approval) and the solar spotlight at 11:11 a.m.
Logistics and Directions to the Ceremony
• The upper area of Community Park, including the parking lot nearest the AVM, will be closed all day Nov. 10 and will reopen by 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 11. Only speakers and ceremony participants, law enforcement and security, and ADA parking will be available in this lot on Nov. 11. Drive-through drop-offs for ADA visitors will be available.
• Overflow parking will be available in the other two lots of Community Park, at Boulder Creek High School (a short walk away), or at neighboring commercial plazas (please park the furthest distance from store entrances, out of respect for their patrons).
• The ceremony will begin promptly at 10 a.m. and will last approximately 75 minutes. Prior to the ceremony, videos recapping the last 10 years of the AVM and honoring our community’s veterans will be shown on the two, two-story LED screens.
• The AVM will be secured and not accessible Nov. 10 or Nov. 11. During the ceremony and solar spotlight, event attendees must remain seated and may not approach the memorial. The AVM will reopen to the public at approximately 11:45 a.m. on Nov. 11.
• Seating is limited; attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. No pop-up tents will be allowed.
• As this will be a large event (even though outdoors), mask wearing is strongly recommended per CDC guidelines, to ensure the safest event possible and reduce community spread of COVID-19.
The Anthem Veterans Memorial is located in Anthem Community Park, 41703 N. Gavilan Peak Parkway. Take I-17 to exit 229. Turn east (right) onto Anthem Way, and then turn south (right) onto Gavilan Peak Parkway. The Memorial is on the left at the four-way stop signs and entrance to the park.