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Veteran's Day ceremony in Meridian honors Rock of Honor founder

Posted at 5:38 PM, Nov 11, 2023

MERIDIAN, Idaho — John Burns spearheaded bringing the a memorial to Meridian. The Rock of Honor in Kleiner Park provides a special place to bring the community together celebrate veterans on Veteran's Day.

The Rock of Honor was founded in 2011 and while John passed away a year and a half ago his family was there for a Veteran's Day ceremony.

The Rock of Honor

"It’s so important to let the veterans know that they are not alone out there that, that we are here and we appreciate what they’ve done," said Marianne Burns, the daughter of John. "Their service is immeasurable it means a lot to me to remember our veterans because they deserve it."

Army veteran Scott Carlson was the guest speaker for the ceremony he served from 1986 to 1990 and he had a special duty as a sentinel guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C.

Scott Carlson was the guest speaker at Saturday's ceremony

"It was a fantastic experience at a super young age of 19-years-old, you truly learn the cost of freedom," said Carlson, who shared a poem. "As time and seasons come and go his vigil for all to know that beneath the sacred Arlington sod lies three buddies known to God."

Carlson is proud of his service and fellow veterans, but he also wants people to recognize family members as spouses, parents and children all make sacrifices to support their hero. Carlson is now one of those as his son Cody decided to put on the uniform and he serves with the Idaho National Guard.

Meridian VFW

"When you watch your kid go do it that’s a whole different thing," said Carlson. "I'm super proud of him, he’s in the Army working as a Blackhawk helicopter crew chief."

Marianne Burns also fits the description of a family member of a hero. The ceremony was bittersweet as she misses her father John, but she's also happy to see his hard work bring together veterans for a special celebration of Veteran's Day.

John Burns courtesy: The Rock of Honor

"To us he was our dad, but as I see the community and the love they have for him he was a hero," said Burns. "Heroes are big and small and it is the little things that make our country great."

The Rock of Honor features the names of fallen soldiers from Meridian.