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Shelby Township Veterans Day celebration honors those who served

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published November 12, 2018

  Lt. Col. Satinder Parhar, a retired combat veteran in the Indian Army, serves as the honored speaker Nov. 11.

Lt. Col. Satinder Parhar, a retired combat veteran in the Indian Army, serves as the honored speaker Nov. 11.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 Ursel Mayo, of Shelby Township, represents Gold Star Mothers during the Veterans Day ceremony.

Ursel Mayo, of Shelby Township, represents Gold Star Mothers during the Veterans Day ceremony.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

  Kendall Masters, of Shelby Township, who currently serves with the  Air National Guard, runs the 5K.

Kendall Masters, of Shelby Township, who currently serves with the Air National Guard, runs the 5K.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Shelby Township hosted a Veterans Day celebration from noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Shelby Township municipal campus, located at 52700 Van Dyke Ave. in Shelby Township.

Every year, Shelby Township holds a special event to honor those who served their country.

This year, the township invited the community to participate in a 5K run alongside veterans, enjoy a celebration afterward and then attend the Veterans Day ceremony. Veterans could run the 5K for free.

The Running with Heroes Veterans 5K started at 10 a.m. and traveled throughout the municipal campus amid cold temperatures.

The celebration immediately followed the Running with Heroes Veterans 5K and featured free coffee, doughnuts, music, a bounce house and hot dogs at the township band shell, located on the municipal grounds.

After the celebration, a special ceremony was held at 1:30 p.m. at the Shelby Township Veterans Memorial across from the band shell with elected officials from both Shelby Township and Utica, community leaders, veterans and members of the community.

There were many speakers during the ceremony.

Phil Randazzo, a veteran and Shelby Township’s veteran events coordinator who organized the celebration and ceremony, invited Satinder Parhar as the honored speaker during the event.

Parhar was a lieutenant colonel in the Indian Army who served for 30 years and was wounded. He spoke about how it was an honor to be at the ceremony and that those in uniform have a common bond in values and experiences, like bravery and dignity, no matter what country they fought for. He also said how thankful he was for all those who showed up in honor of the veterans and thanked them for their service.

“It’s a great thing that people can get together and find time to honor the people who laid down their lives, and some of them come back — actually, that’s what Veterans Day is — and it means so much to those who have served to be back home and honored like this,” said Parhar.

The ceremony began with a welcome from Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis. Tracy Murray sang the national anthem, and veterans placed a wreath to honor service members who were lost. The ceremony also included a choir and a 21-gun salute.

Utica’s mayor, Thom Dionne, an Army veteran, attended the Veterans Day event and also was honored for his service.

“It’s a great event that Shelby Township puts on, Phil Randazzo is a personal hero of mine, and I love his sacrifice and what he has done for the township as far as bringing the memory of all of our fallen heroes to light. This is a magnificent place for all of our residents and neighbors to gather to remember all of those that have fallen and all of those that served and currently serve,” said Dionne.

Randazzo said this year’s event was a success and that there were a lot of different guests who showed up to honor the veterans.

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