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CELEBRATING VETERANS DAY

2021 North Channel Library Veterans Appreciation Day L-R: Branch Manager Maria Rawls, Veterans Fred McCray, Anthony Mireles, Michael Kozey, Leonard Ferguson, Daniel Jason & Lauronzo Garman, Pct. 2 Veteran’s Service Manager. (Photo by Linda Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Houston, TX – On November 11, 2021, the Harris County Public Library – North Channel Branch, under the Direction of Branch Manager Maria Rawls (Adult Services), conducted its 1st Annual Veterans Day celebration event.

Ms. Rawls welcomed and thanked the community for coming out to help celebrate and honor the home-grown heroes who bravely served this nation.

She said, “This celebration is one way of showing our veterans that we never forget them and that we salute their bravery and the example that they have set before us to gain this freedom.”

Rawls thanked those who worked to put together the event, including Student Practicum Amber McCarver, the library’s staff, and the following on the program: North Shore’s JROTC – Coordinator Darrow Adams, MC/Sound and Music by Mikey Mike Singer, Desmond Bostick who sang the National Anthem and God Bless the USA.

Kathy Bostick was the emcee and she said, “Thanks for coming out to our first Veterans Day Celebration. It has been my honor to organize and put together a program celebrating our Veterans, the real American Heroes. November 11th is set aside every year to recognize and honor our Veterans. We need to be thankful every day for our freedoms and the country in which we live. Thank you, veterans, for the sacrifices you have made to keep America the greatest nation on earth.”

“My hero will always be my dad, Sgt. Lawrence Sopchak, who served his country during the Korean War. He never talked about it much, he said it brought back too many bad memories and he lost too many friends. I feel certain we as civilians may never know what you veterans have lived through, but I also know we will never forget what sacrifices and love have been poured out for our great country. To the veterans that are here today, please accept our thanks to you and all your sacrifices. We love you and everything you’ve done for us,” Bostick concluded.

Guest Speaker, Pastor Rick Blount of the First Baptist Church of Jacinto City, gave the history of the creation of Veterans Day and told of his dad’s military service. Veterans Day occurs on November 11, originally known as Armistice Day in 1918, signaling the end of World War I.

Attendees, participants, and contributors included Friends of the North Channel Branch Library and President Omie Ferguson, Michelle Garcia, Jennifer Longoria, photographer, Ramon Nuno, Party City, Cindy Miller, Community Liaison Harris County Precinct 2, Linda Jamail, Community Liaison for Rep. Ana Hernandez, Helen Berrott Tims, Community Liaison for JP Joe Stephens, Army & Marine Recruitment Center (Anthony Mireles, Michael Kozey) and Channelview ISD.