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Posted on: November 12, 2021

Westlake hosts special Veterans Day event at Community Services Center

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The City of Westlake was pleased to host a special Veterans Day event in the Community Services Center's Eileen Humphrey Auditorium on Nov. 11.

The event featured a pinning ceremony, lunch prepared by Chef Garrett Baglier and a few words about the importance of honoring our veterans by Westlake Mayor Dennis M. Clough. 

"I definitely want to thank all the veterans here today," Mayor Clough said. "If it wasn't for your dedication in service and commitment to making sure that our freedoms our protected each and every day we would not be able to enjoy those freedoms."  

Rep. Anthony Gonzalez and Nancy Miller of Hospice of the Western Reserve also took the podium to reflect on how valuable the sacrifices of our nation's veterans have been to preserving our freedoms. 

"I think every day should be Veterans Day, frankly," Rep. Gonzalez said. "You truly can't be grateful enough for the service you all have provided." 

Smoky in a helmet scupture by Sarah BaharyMiller read a written piece called "What is a Veteran?" from an anonymous author intended to remind everyone to think about the contributions of the nation's veterans. 

The last line read, "So remember, each time you see someone who served our country, just lean over and say 'thank you.' That's all most people need. And in most cases, it will mean more to them than any medals that you can give. Two little words mean a lot. Thank you." 

Attendees also were treated to a movie entitled "Angel in a Foxhole: Smoky" about the first recognized service dog in U.S. military history and her owner, soldier and photographer Bill Wynne. David Tarbar, Wynne's son-in-law, led a presentation noting the history behind the movie.

Smoky was featured in several newspaper articles both locally and nationally, including clippings in The Cleveland Press and appearances on local television shows in Cleveland to do tricks, such as balancing on a rolling drum, riding a specially made kick scooter and jumping through a hoop. Smoky was found in a foxhole in New Guinea and accompanied Wynne on several missions and visits to injured soldiers in need of a morale boost. 

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