SIDNEY — In a moving ceremony, Wednesday, Nov. 8, the Senior Center of Sidney and Shelby County honored its member military veterans with gifts, lunch and song.
More than 50 people attended the Veterans Day Appreciation Luncheon at the center. With support by Wilson Health Hospice, 30 veterans were pinned with commemorative badges and given certificates and small American flags.
Applause followed the reading of each name as recipients stood to be recognized.
The event began with welcoming remarks by Senior Center Executive Director Eileen Wiseman, Shelby County Commissioners Julie Ehemann and Bob Guillozet, Shelby County Veterans Services Assistant Director Chris North and Wilson Health Department of Home Care and Hospice Chaplain Stephen Muyah.
After acknowledging veterans and widows of those who had served, Wiseman read the anonymously written “What Is a Veteran.”
”A veteran is a person who fell in love with their country-for better, for worse-for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. A veteran is a person who is willing to lay down their life for the Statue of Liberty so that her poor, her huddled masses, her homeless, her tempest tossed breathe free and may enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A veteran is a person who does what he/she must, in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures, for that is the basis of all human morality. A veteran is one who gets a lump in the throat when he/she sees our beloved flag, one who will fight to protect our beautiful flag from those who dare to dishonor it. A veteran is one who pays their taxes, willingly; serves their country, honorably; and cherishes their freedom, passionately. A veteran is one well-deserving of our appreciation, our love, and our prayers 365 days a year,” she read.
“Every day should be Veterans Day,” Ehemann echoed. “I have the utmost respect for our veterans.”
Guillozet noted that he is not a military veteran, but listed several family members who were.
“We would not be the country we are were it not for your sacrifices,” he said. He also thanked the widows and spouses of veterans.
“Behind every veteran, we know that support is there,” he added.
North urged attendees to take adavantage of benefits the Veterans Services office can provide, and Muyah offered the invocation.
The Senior Center Singers entertained with a program of patriotic songs before box lunches were served.
The event meant a lot to the honored vets.
“I’m a Viet Nam veteran,” said Jim Harvey, of Sidney. “I was an Army helicopter pilot. Viet Nam was sort of the wayward child and was not recognized for what the veterans did at the time. What they did today is making us equal with World War II, Korea and now Afghanistan veterans.”
Richard Wilson, a Marine veteran from Sidney, said, “I think it’s extremely nice that people recognize everybody that’s been in the service.”
Jenny Huelskamp, Wilson Health community marketing liaison, read the names of those honored. They included Maxine Cochran, Ronald Wilges, Larry McLaughlin, James Harvey, David Easton, Carl Wical, Earl Reeves, Wayne Brockman, Frank Thaman, Mike Cotterman, Wilbur Hughes, Joseph Allen, William Deam, Mark Deam, Joe Frilling, Ray Gates, Ed Vance, Robert Sargeant, Richard Denman, John Laws, Larry Donahue, Richard Layman, Richard Wilson, Randy Belt, Carl Sharp, Larry Thorne, Jo Wildman, Mernard Francis, Jo Anderson and James Deam.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.