Key Biscayners gathered Friday morning to remember Veterans Day, with a reminder of a call to service from outgoing Mayor Mike Davey.
“Thank you for what you’ve done for your country,” he said after village public safety workers hoisted the colors. “We honor your great service, he said.
Davey also acknowledged the presence of two unsuccessful village council candidates in attendance, Andy Herrera and Nicolas Lopez-Jenkins.
“I see we have two candidates for council who didn’t succeed this time. But thank you for coming out today, and being a part of this. Our community is based on service,” Davey said.
Joining Davey were mayor-elect Joe Rasco, Frank Caplan, and Robert Vernon, all former mayors. Rasco will be sworn in as the island’s ninth mayor on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden acknowledged the sacrifices of America’s veterans as he addressed a United Nations climate conference in Egypt.
“This day is a day of commemoration at home in the United States. It’s Veterans Day,” he said. “America’s veterans and their families, survivors and caregivers are the very spine and soul of the United States. And on this special day, on every day, I honor all those who sacrifice to our nation, like my son.” Biden’s son Beau served in Iraq as a member of the Delaware Army National Guard.
This is the first Veterans Day since Biden signed legislation expanding health care for service members who were exposed to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan or to chemicals that were used in previous conflicts.
More than 137,000 claims involving toxic exposure have been filed, the Biden administration says. The Department of Veterans Affairs also began asking veterans about possible toxic exposure earlier this week in an attempt to identify any health complications.
The legislation, known as the PACT Act, was a priority for Biden. His eldest son, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer in 2015, several years after he was exposed to a burn pit during military service in Iraq.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.