The American Legion Post 111 held its Veterans Day ceremony Monday to remember all those past and present who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
Veterans Day is meant to commemorate the brave men and women who have served in the military and the sacrifices they and their families have made throughout history.
“Over 100 years ago on the eleventh month of the eleventh day and on the eleventh hour, silence went over the land. It was the end of the Great War, the war to end all wars,” American Legion member Barrie Lee said.
Veterans Day was initially known as Armistice Day as it marked the first anniversary of the end of World War I in 1919. Originally hailed as the war to end all wars, the name hasn’t rung true throughout history as many Americans have answered the call since that time.
“Unfortunately, it wasn’t so. Since that time, our country has sent out the call and we have answered,” Lee said.
At the American Legion event Monday, Retired Brig. Gen. Craig Bargfrede addressed the attendees. Bargfrede spent his life in the military before retiring. He received numerous awards throughout his career.
“Thank you for such a warm welcome and for giving me the honor to speak with you today on this Veterans Day,” Bargfrede said.
Remembering veterans from past generations who fought in previous wars is becoming increasingly important as those veterans age and pass away. These veterans fought in the wars remembered by Americans’ parents and grandparents.
“When you think of a veteran, it may bring to mind someone who might be elderly, long retired, who may have served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam or maybe the first Gulf War,” Bargfrede said.
But Bargfrede said how the ongoing War on Terrorism has seen military members deploying to the middle east for almost two decades now. Military members often deploy multiple times in their career.
“The new veteran is the man or woman who may be much younger, in their 20s, 30s,” Bargfrede said.
The American Legion building was full of people from many walks of life. Veterans past and present, members of the American Legion and family members of veterans who were all united to come together to honor veterans.
“It was great. Good speaker, taps on a cold day it just brings you all back to what it is all about, patriotism,” veterans service officer with Jasper County Veterans Affairs Keith Thorpe said.
Iowa State Rep. Wes Breckenridge, D-Newton, added, “This is such a heartwarming event to get to come to ... It just shows the pride that we have in our veterans and to show them the respect, the admiration, the appreciation for what they do.”
Remembering all veterans past and present who served in times of combat and peace is what Veterans Day is about. Remembering the immense sacrifices by all those who wore the uniform is a stark reminder of the price of freedom.
“Whether they wear the uniform of the military today or they wore it decades ago, veterans represent an unwavering dedication to freedom and exemplify the highest ideals of service to our nation,” Bargfrede said.
Contact Dustin Teays at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or firstname.lastname@example.org