Vietnam veterans Command Sgt. Henry Matylonek and Capt. Reginald Harvey flank Mayor Ken Siver as the flag rises Nov. 9 in front of City Hall.

Vietnam veterans Command Sgt. Henry Matylonek and Capt. Reginald Harvey flank Mayor Ken Siver as the flag rises Nov. 9 in front of City Hall.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Southfield recognizes veterans in annual ceremony

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published November 14, 2017

 Gregory Pulliam, chairman of the Southfield Veterans Commission, speaks Nov. 9 at the city’s annual Veterans Day ceremony inside the council chambers, 26000 Evergreen Road.

Gregory Pulliam, chairman of the Southfield Veterans Commission, speaks Nov. 9 at the city’s annual Veterans Day ceremony inside the council chambers, 26000 Evergreen Road.

Photo by Deb Jacques

  Command Sgt. Henry Matylonek carries a wreath to the Veterans Memorial outside City Hall.

Command Sgt. Henry Matylonek carries a wreath to the Veterans Memorial outside City Hall.

Photo by Deb Jacques

SOUTHFIELD — A medley of patriotic songs floated through the air Nov. 9 as veterans of each U.S. military branch stood to honor their divisions. 

The city of Southfield hosted its annual Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. in the council chambers of City Hall. 

Countless city officials, along with residents and veterans, gathered for the commemoration of the federal holiday — which is designed to celebrate the service of all U.S. military veterans and observed on Nov. 11 each year. 

Mayor Ken Siver hosted the event, which featured remarks from Col. Keith Sousa, a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves; Southfield Veterans Commission Chairman Gregory Pulliam; and Michigan Veterans Association Executive Director Tyrone Chatman. Rabbi Aaron Starr, of Congregation Shaarey Zedek, delivered the invocation and benediction. 

The colors were presented by the Southfield Police and Fire departments, along with the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Department honor guard. The Southfield High School for the Arts and Technology advanced choir offered musical selections. 

“We often say that holidays such as this are not a day off, but a day on — a day of remembrance — helping us remember our veterans and their service,” Siver said. 

Sousa gave a presentation on the history of Veterans Day. 

“I hope that all veterans and their supporters get an opportunity to celebrate Veterans Day, and continue to honor this day in support of our past and present veterans,” Sousa said. 

Pulliam said he wishes there were more opportunities to thank veterans for their service to the U.S.

“Hopefully, the message will get out and people will realize that we need to be honored every day, not just one or two days a year,” he said. 

Siver and members of the Michigan Veterans Foundation placed a wreath at the Veterans Memorial Garden in front of City Hall, followed by a moment of silence, a 21-gun salute, and the playing of taps by Levey Middle School students Kyan Stafford, Shakria Patterson and Tyree Christian. 

“Let us so pray that a day might come soon when nations shall not lift up swords against nations, and neither shall they learn war anymore. A day when each person should sit under his or her vine or fig tree, and none shall make them afraid. May such a day come soon and in our time,” Starr said at the ceremony. 

The Southfield Veterans Commission provides a 24-hour crisis line at (800) 273-8255. For more information on the commission, call (248) 796-4VET or visit cityofsouthfield.com.