Photos: Veterans' Day ceremony at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery

Between periods of gentle rain showers, a large crowd of veterans of all ages, their families and the San Antonio community gathered on Veterans' Day at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery to salute those who have served our country.

"While we're certainly here to honor our dead here today, Veterans' Day is to salute our living veterans," said CMSgt. Tom Nesbit, USAF (Ret.), who was the morning's Master of Ceremonies.

According to Gill Gallo, Jr., Director of Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, the significance of holding the ceremonies at the cemetery was to "not only honor all of the veterans living in our community, but to pay tribute to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives."

Besides moving music by the U.S. Army Medical Command Band, Texas Children's Choir and the San Antonio Chordsmen, a highlight was a special naturalization ceremony held by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The new citizens originate from American Samoa, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica; Cuba, Fiji, Germany, Iraq, Jamaica, Liberia, Micronesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Netherlands, Peru, Philippines, and Sierra Leone.

U.S. Army Spc. Sweedan of Iraq, who could not give his first name because of safety concerns for his family back home, said it was "a happy day."

Just as the ceremonies were breaking up, so did the clouds, and the sun warmed the crowds filing past the new citizens to shake hands, welcome them and thank them for their service to our country.

 

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NOWCastSA Flickr photoset