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Veterans ceremony to honor service

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published November 6, 2017

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The eleventh hour is at hand for getting everything ready for Sterling Heights’ annual Veterans Day ceremony.

This year, the Nov. 11 event will be held at the Sterling Heights Senior Activity Center. According to organizers, the city is working with veterans groups and the Sterling Heights Area Community Foundation to make the event possible. 

According to Stephen Bilan, one of the ceremony’s organizers, the public, as well as local veterans, are invited. He said organizers expect an overall turnout of around 150 to 200 attendees.

He said the event’s purpose is to emphasize the importance of recognizing those who served.

“They volunteered their services for the military, and without their volunteering, we wouldn’t have the America that we have. We wouldn’t have the democracy that we have,” Bilan said. “We wanted to make sure everyone is recognized for a job well done. They did the job they were asked to do.”

The ceremony will include a 21-gun salute from the Sterling Heights Police Honor Guard, music and singing performed by high school students, a playing of taps, wreath laying, remarks by local dignitaries and a keynote speaker, and a luncheon.

The keynote speaker is slated to be Raymond Nadolski, a Vietnam War veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force.

SHACF Executive Director Karl Oskoian said veterans groups — including posts from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Korean War Veterans Association and the American Legion — are involved with this event.

Oskoian said his community foundation’s mission is to improve the cultural, educational and recreational opportunities for Sterling Heights-area residents.

 “It’s important that we bring the community together to remember and thank our veterans for their selfless service to our country,” he said. “And we obviously can never repay them for all they have done for America, but it’s our responsibility to never forget.

“It’s also incumbent to bring the community together whenever appropriate for the betterment of the entire population, and obviously, this type of event does that.”

Sterling Heights’ Veterans Day ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 at the Sterling Heights Senior Activity Center, 40200 Utica Road in Sterling Heights. Admission is free. Find out more by visiting or by calling (586) 446-2489.