On Saturday, November 18th, Rancho Sahuarita residents, along with family and friends, gathered for special a Veterans Appreciation Barbecue at the Parque Del Rio, next to the Armed Forces Tribute in Rancho Sahuarita.
Approximately 350 people came out to show their appreciation for veterans and active military personnel. A large portion of the citizens of Sahuarita and the surrounding region currently serve or have served in the military, making events like this especially meaningful to local residents. Many of the veterans at the event proudly displayed their branch of service on their hats and t-shirts, making it easy for everyone to recognize them and thank them for their service and sacrifice.
Beautiful weather capped off the afternoon, where attendees enjoyed a picnic lunch, cotton candy, popcorn and other treats. “Patty and the Jukebox Junqies” band provided entertainment for the attendees, while children enjoyed jumping castles and face painting. A new addition to the event, a patriotic photo booth, was a big hit and many took this opportunity to take a family photo and commemorate the occasion.
Carondelet Medical Group, Tucson Federal Credit Union, and Associa Arizona came out to support the event and show their appreciation to veterans and their families. Rural Metro also marked the occasion, by bringing their Veterans Ambulance down from Phoenix for display.
A somber moment took place as Sahuarita Mayor, Tom Murphy, and Rancho Sahuarita Resident Board Member, Bob Webster, (who are also both veterans,) presented the Missing Man Table Ceremony. A special table was set for six, with empty chairs that represented Americans who were or are missing from each of the branches of service: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard and civilians, all with us in spirit. Items on the table symbolized special meaning, such as the pinch of salt; representing the tears of our missing and their families, and the lighted candle; reflecting our hope for their return. The ceremony culminated with a moment of silence to honor America’s prisoners of war and those missing in action.
Rancho Sahuarita is grateful for all who attended, all who helped to make the event possible, and all those who have bravely served and sacrificed for the nation.