Nikki Stratton, whose grandfather survived the attack on Pearl Harbor as a crewmember aboard the USS Arizona (BB-39), will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Veterans Day Commemoration in Scottsdale. Stratton is serving as the sponsor of the next USS Arizona (SSN-803), a Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine that will join the U.S. fleet upon completion.
Scottsdale’s Veterans Day Commemoration takes place at 3 p.m., Thursday, November 11, at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, located at 7301 E. Indian Bend Road. It is free and open to the public.
Stratton says her grandfather, who died in 2020, was a “small-town man who survived a historically tragic event,” one she feels is slipping away from Americans’ memory. Stratton’s mission is to ensure people remember that tragic day and hopes to provide a generational connection by sharing her grandfather’s story.
The program also features James Fawbush, a United States Army veteran who now works with the Phoenix VA Health Care System in Phoenix. He enlisted in the Army in 1996, with tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and Hurricane Katrina before retiring in 2016 as Sergeant First Class. Fawbush works with veterans full-time and enjoys volunteering his welding skills to local nonprofits.
Additionally, Scottsdale is proud to be a Vietnam Commemorative City. Vietnam veterans and family members are invited to receive a special lapel pin or magnet at the event in respect of our appreciation.
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Arizona Band kicks off the program at 3 p.m. with a half-hour of patriotic music. The Veterans Day program also will feature the city’s Veterans Advisory Commission members, the Police and Fire Honor Guards, bugler Gil Gifford, and members of Scottsdale Mayor’s Youth Council.
For more information about this event, call the park at 480-312-2312.