PARKVILLE, MD---"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." --John Fitzgerald Kennedy
"Our liberties, our values, all for which America stands, is safe today because brave men and women have been ready to face the fire at freedom's front." -Ronald Reagan
Those words reflected the theme of Veterans Day 2013 at Oak Crest, the Erickson Living retirement community. Over 350 residents and guests attended a tribute ceremony on November 11th to commemorate the day in which the United States says "thank you" to its service men and women.
Oak Crest partnered with Gilchrist Hospice Care to ensure that over one hundred veterans received specially designed pins through the "We Honor Veterans" project. The program then moved to the Oak Crest extended care neighborhood where more veterans received the recognition.
Brigadier General Benjamin Lucas, Ret., Maryland Air National Guard, and First Sergeant Matthew P. Eversmann, Ret., U.S. Army, provided the keynote addresses.
Elected officials in attendance were Congressman John Sarbanes, State Senator Kathy Klausmeier, State Delegate John Cluster and Baltimore County Councilman David Marks.
Later in the day, Oak Crest joined the Marine Corps League, Harford County 1198 Detachment, to celebrate the 238th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps.
They did it by carrying forth the tradition of the cake-cutting ceremony in which the first slice of cake given to the oldest Marine present, who in turn hands it off to the youngest Marine present. The custom symbolizes the experienced Marines passing their knowledge to a new generation.
Oak Crest employee Paul Stiles had the honor of receiving the first piece of cake from Colonel Richard Rhinehart, an Oak Crest resident who is the oldest former Marine in the U.S. at age 105. He served with the iconic Major General Smedley Butler.