HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas - Veterans, leaders and community members gathered to honor veterans across the nation Nov. 8, 2018, during the city's annual Veterans Ceremony at the Harker Heights Recreation Center.

For the second year in a row, Lt. Col. James R. Crane, deputy commander, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, served as the guest speaker for the Harker Heights Veterans Ceremony.

"The 3rd Cavalry Regiment is very proud to stand with its community partner, Harker Heights, in recognizing the service and contributions of our veterans and their families," said Crane.

During his speech, Crane spoke of the significance of this year's ceremony marking the 100th year since the Allies of World War I signed the armistice at the 11th hour, on the 11th day and in 11th month of 1918.

Crane said that while World War I is known as the Great War or the war to end all wars, it was not the last war, and peace - as we are quite aware - is fragile.

"Today, the American armed forces has representation in 140 countries- fighting terrorism, deterring aggression, securing embassies, aiding victims of disasters, and conducting training and readiness exercises with our allies," said Crane.

Crane praised American forces and said, "Our all-volunteer force demonstrates exceptional skill and confidence in their performance of their duties, prepared to fight and win our nation's wars anywhere and at any time."

Purple Heart recipient Capt. Scott Rankin, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, said he felt honored to take part in the ceremony and said that he resonated with the mayor of Harker Height's message that asked veterans to share their stories with their children and grandchildren.

"That's one thing I will be taking with me today," said Rankin about the mayor's message. "That sharing my story is important and I need to continue sharing my story, not only with my family, but with members of the community and those who aspire to be a part of the military service."

Crane concluded his speech by thanking veterans and their families for their service and praised the American people and the people of Harker Heights for their dedication in honoring our nation's veterans.

"Honoring our veterans instills a powerful vision in the minds of rising generations and it's fitting to hold such ceremonies as the recognition of our living veterans ensures that men and women of character and talent are proud and willing to serve our nation indefinitely," said Crane.