PALMER— Mat-Su Regional Medical Center honored all active duty and retired military members, observing Veterans Day on Monday.

MSRMC staff coordinated the event with American Legion Post 35 and members of its color guard.

“It’s a poignant ceremony we do every year,” MSRMC Director of Marketing and Public Relations Alan Craft said.

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Post 35 performed a flag ceremony, gave presentations and perfumed a Prisoner of War/Missing in Action table setting ceremony to honor those who did not return home.

“What a great turn out for such a great cause. I wish there were more days like this,” Dr. Michael DiBartolo said.

DiBartolo is the medical director and lead physician for all three of the urgent cares. DiBartolo is one of more than 100 staff members, physicians and volunteers who are veterans currently working at MSRMC. He is currently in the Air Force reserve.

DiBartolo focused his speech on the countless men and women who give their all to their country, often going without much recognition, “underappreciated and underpaid.”

“I wish this life and global society in which we live was different- wishing for a culture that would give greater thanks for the men and women who went to war and sacrificed their lives, their limbs and most their souls, forever changing the depths of their being…” DiBartolo said.

DiBartolo said that in spite of little recognition, high pay or praise, each member of the armed forces puts it all on the line for something greater than monetary means.

“We chose to walk this path as a sense of duty, to have the privilege to serve our loved ones, our neighbors our friends our countrymen. For those who have not served, please recognize and remember all past and present soldiers and give gratitude,” DiBartolo said.

DiBartolo said that the classic table setting ceremony was his bittersweet favorite of the event. He said it was important to remember, “those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” and the somber and symbolic ceremony did that well.

“It really brings home,” DiBartolo said.

MSRMC CEO Dave Wallace said that blood shed on a daily basis continues to grant us the individual the freedoms we all enjoy today.

“Their sacrifice is the bedrock of our nation,” Wallace said. “So whether they wear the military uniform today or wore it decades ago, veterans represent the dedication and the highest ideals of service to our nation.”

Contact Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at Jacob.mann@frontiersman.com.

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