It was a beautiful day on Wednesday, when dozens of folks came out to honor our veterans and celebrate Veterans Day at the Hamilton County War Memorial on the Courthouse Square.
There were folks I hadn’t seen in months, some not since Memorial Day or even last Veterans Day.
The COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease) pandemic has kept a lot of folks, especially veterans, at home. But Wednesday’s ceremony brought many veterans and nonveterans out, sporting their facial masks, their military hats and patriotic colors.
The ceremony each year is a pleasant reminder to honor all veterans, past and present.
Sherman Crusenberry, a veteran of the U.S. He served in Vietnam, wore a military uniform and a long white beard under his “1st Cavalry” mask and hat.
“The last time I shaved was last year, on Veterans Day,” said the 75-year-old Noblesville resident, who attends every Veterans Day ceremony. He is glad attitudes have changed since he came home from the Vietnam War, when soldiers weren’t treated like heroes. Today, he said, “We honor all veterans, past and present; that’s the way it should be. Crusenberry received a Purple Heart after being wounded in Vietnam.
He performed the laying of the wreath at the War Memorial as a formal sign of respect for those who lost their lives in the line of military duty. Last year, Mollie Menchaca, a veteran of the Women’s Army Corps, did the laying of the wreath. And before that, Kenneth Harris, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps in Korea who joined the service when he couldn’t find a job, had been laying the wreath for 23 years.
“It’s an honor to stand with you, to stand beside you, as we honor those men and women who sacrificed and fight for our freedoms and continue to fight for our freedoms on a daily basis,” said Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen, who offered remarks during the ceremony, his first Veterans Day program since becoming mayor in January.
“In the year, 2020, I’ve thought a lot about the term, ‘sacrifice,’” he said. “... I’ve heard a lot about sacrifices, such as not being able to get your hair done when you wanted to, sacrifices of not being able to go to the store during certain hours ….”
He said, “While I’m certain those are sacrifices in your mind, I think we should never mix up ‘sacrifice’ with ‘inconvenience.’”
Jensen said, “Sacrifice, my friends, is what people in this uniform surrounding me, people who wear the uniform every day, are doing for our country …”
He is proud of the work we’ve done in Hamilton County and Noblesville to recognize and assist veterans, in terms of workforce in our community. We know in Noblesville and we know in Hamilton County, that veterans need to be supported not just during their time of service but when they come home and when they transition to their next chapter, making sure that they have jobs of the future that are available to them and that they have the support of the community available to them.”
He said, “We know that veterans are the backbone of our community. They have a can-do mentality like none that we have ever seen. They are individuals who drive to do what’s hard and achieve what’s great. And those are genuine qualities that I think I strive for on a daily basis.”
“...Today, we stand here to honor those who have served our country at home and abroad and those who celebrate our country today,” Jensen said.
Again this year, U.S. Army Vietnam veteran James Martin, and member of the VFW, American Legion and AmVets. was the ceremony emcee. He announced Hometown Hero awards to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department, Noblesville Police Department, Noblesville Fire Department and Riverview Health.

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.