Cupertino honors Gold Star families in ceremony

Ranganathan Srinivasan, Freelance reporter

Cupertino held its annual Veterans Day Ceremony event at Memorial Park to honor those that died in service with veterans, family of veterans, first responders and city residents on Nov. 11.

The ceremony’s keynote speaker was a retired U.S. Marines Major General Mike Myatt who spoke on the topic for this year’s ceremony —  the Gold Star families.

Myatt explained that a Gold Star family are immediate relatives of those who died while serving. The Blue Star Service Flag’s blue star that represents a member of the family serving is then replaced with a gold star. Myatt said the gold symbolizes honor, hope and healing. 

The event first started with a bagpipes player Joe Roberts playing “Amazing Grace” followed by the National Anthem sung by the Miller Middle School Choir. During these performances, attendees removed their hats and watched in silence. 

Veterans in attendance stood up for each war that was called out to show who fought in each. 

As the event was coming to a close, the family of Matthew Axelson and James Suh, the two soldiers represented in the Cupertino Veterans Memorial statue,  placed flowers at the base of the sculpture.

Ceremonial wreath being placed at The Wall of Honor during Cupertino’s Veterans Day Ceremony at Memorial Park on Nov. 11. (Ranganathan Srinivasan)

The ceremony closed with a wreath being placed on the Wall of Honor. The Wall of Honor indicates those who attended Cupertino schools and died while in service. During this time, there was a moment of silence to thank them for their bravery to serve and risking their lives while doing so.