Honor veterans Thursday at Legion

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By Special to the Monitor

This year’s Veterans Day community celebration will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the American Legion Post 90, 1325 Trinity Drive.
All veterans, their families and friends, as well as the general public are invited to attend.  
The local theme is “Veterans Equal Freedom.” Veterans Day is a National Holiday to thank and honor the 23.2 million living veterans that have honorably served their country in both wartime and peacetime.  
There are currently 1.4 million Americans serving in the U.S. military, with 369,000 currently deployed overseas, many in harm’s way.   
This year’s Guest of Honor and speaker will be Lt. Colonel Bruce Takala, U.S. Army (ret).  Lt. Colonel Takala served 21 years in the U.S. Army.  
He is a West Point graduate who served in a variety of engineering positions in his long and distinguished career.
Takala has also served as Sheriff since November  2006.  He also holds a master’s degree from MIT in physics.  
Takala first came to Los Alamos in 1986 to work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory while still in the Army.
He has been a Los Alamos National Laboratory employee since 1996 and is currently the Accelerator Operations Manager.  
Former U.S. Marine, Rev. Keith Lewis from the United Church of Los Alamos will deliver the Invocation and Benediction.  
The American Legion invites the community join in on the ceremony.  Lunch will be served at the conclusion, courtesy of the American Legion.
This is a joint community presentation organized by a variety of service organizations to include the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8874, Elks B. P. O.E. Lodge 2083, Los Alamos High School NJROTC, The Military Order of the World Wars, Daughters of the American Revolution, Pajarito Lodge 66, the Knights of Columbus Assembly 0688, SOC-LA  and other service organizations.  
For more information, contact the Post Commander, Lt. Col Bill Cooper, USMC (ret) at 505- 699-9347.
The American Legion, according to Post 90’s Web site,  was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, mutual-help, war-time veterans organization.
It is a community-service organization which now numbers nearly 3 million members  in nearly 15,000 American Legion Posts worldwide.