McKiernan said the vets serve another purpose.
“Your service continues to set a good example for today's military,” he said.
More recent acts of valor also were noted. Robert Willis, an Air Force veteran and Edmond American Legion Frank H. Collings Post 111 commander, mentioned the sacrifice of two Navy Seals in the September attack on the embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
The ceremony also honored widows of veterans, the two women veterans who live at Edmond Mansions and the women who worked in defense plants during World World II.
Cadets from the Air Force ROTC at Edmond North High School posted the colors and helped to honor the veterans.
“This observance is wonderful,” cadet Jarrett Talbott said. “What these people went through was scary.”
Willis read letters of recognition from Gov. Mary Fallin, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and other Oklahoma elected officials.
That prompted a lighthearted remark from Turpin, who was master of ceremonies.
“I just want to ask the veterans here if any of you, doing KP duty 60 years ago, would have expected to have gotten a letter of thanks from some of these officials?” he asked, drawing a laugh from the veterans.
“It's great that we show how we care,” said Edmond Mansions activity director Jennifer Benner. “They fought for us to be free.”