BEVERLY — The city has joined hundreds of other communities across the country in formalizing its support for members of the military and their families.

The City Council on Monday night approved a Military Community Covenant, a program established by the U.S. Army in 2008 that allows communities to commit to supporting soldiers and their families.

The signing ceremony at City Hall included local military members and veterans, including Rear Adm. Daniel Neptun, commander of the First Coast Guard District, who lives in Beverly at the Coast Guard's Hospital Point Light Station.

The resolution in support of the covenant was brought forth by Ward 3 Councilor Jim Latter, an Air Force veteran.

"It's important that we support those who serve," Latter said. "We're not talking about doing anything we're not already doing. This is just a way to codify that and recognize the hard work that is going on."

Ward 2 Councilor Wes Slate commended Latter for promoting the military covenant. "He's the only one of us who served in the Armed Forces," Slate said.

As an example of the city's support of the military, councilors mentioned the recent Military Family Fun Night held at the North Beverly School.

More than 450 community covenants have been signed in the United States, according to the program's website.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or by email at pleighton@salemnews.com.

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