Gregory Pulliam, chairman of the Southfield Veterans Commission, speaks last year at the city’s annual Veterans Day ceremony.

Gregory Pulliam, chairman of the Southfield Veterans Commission, speaks last year at the city’s annual Veterans Day ceremony.

File photo by Deb Jacques


Southfield's Veterans Day ceremony to take more local approach

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published November 7, 2018

 Vietnam veteran Command Sgt. Henry Matylonek carries a wreath to the Veterans Memorial outside Southfield City Hall last year.

Vietnam veteran Command Sgt. Henry Matylonek carries a wreath to the Veterans Memorial outside Southfield City Hall last year.

File photo by Deb Jacques

SOUTHFIELD — This Veterans Day, the city’s goal is to honor more hometown heroes, according to Southfield officials.

At 11 a.m. Nov. 9, the city will host its annual Veterans Day ceremony in the City Council chambers of City Hall, 26000 Evergreen Road.

In previous years, the city had commissioned outside speakers to deliver messages pertaining to the national holiday, but this year, Mayor Ken Siver said, the ceremony will be different.

“We are changing the program and we are inviting anyone to come that would like to honor a veteran,” Siver said. “We’re trying to get more local and personal participation, rather than having a speaker come in from outside the community.”

The city is seeking speakers to provide approximately one-minute tributes for living or deceased veterans of any U.S. military action or branch, according to city officials.

“We’ll ask them to speak for a minute or so, and we’ll chime the bell in their memory,” Siver said. “This is open to our entire community.”

Also new this year, the ceremony will feature a World War I historical artifact display in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the armistice to end the war, along with an interactive presentation.

Veterans Day used to be known as Armistice Day. Celebrated each year on Nov. 11, the day marks an armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany in Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the western front of World War I.

The armistice took effect at the “11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” of 1918, which was followed by the Treaty of Versailles the following year to officially end the war.

In addition to the community veteran tributes, the Southfield ceremony will feature remarks from Siver and a 21-gun salute.

Barbara Seldon, of the Southfield Veterans Commission, said she is looking forward to the program.

“I think it’s going to be a wonderful representation from our city to those who gave their lives or limbs for our freedom,” Seldon said.

Seldon also reflected on the International Day of Peace, which was Sept. 21.

“I think about wouldn’t it be wonderful if we would all use that one day to be peaceful, and then carry it through for 365 days — the world would be a better place,” Seldon said. “No divisiveness. No hate. Each person stepping in the other one’s shoes and recognizing their differences and mostly our similarities.”

For more information or to sign up to provide a veteran tribute, call Southfield Community Relations at (248) 796-5130.