SIDNEY — Local veterans and heroes were honored Wednesday during Shelby County’s official Veterans Day Service at 11 a.m. on the courtsquare.
Serving as master of ceremonies was Ed Ball, a Navy veteran. The program included a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by students from Lehman High School and Christian Academy School. Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst and Shelby County Commissioner Bob Guillozet also made brief remarks.
The keynote speaker was Sidney Police Chief Will Balling, a U.S. Army veteran.
Balling gave a brief history of Veterans Day — originally known as Armistice day, which was first commemorated Nov. 11, 1919, at 11 a.m., a year after all fighting ceased between the Allied nations and Germany, ending World War 1.
In 1954, Congress officially changed the name to Veterans Day, in part to include veterans of World War II and the Korean War.
Balling noted that he was asked to be the keynote speaker “not only to honor our veterans but also speak upon the current tensions of law enforcement and people who we serve and protect.”
“I am proud to call myself a law enforcement officer and a veteran,” Balling said. “There is not a day that goes by that I do not give thanks to the veterans that gave so much to us and who continue to protect this great country.”
Balling told those gathered that “today, the battlefields will not only be across the seas but also on our homeland. Terrorism will be fought by today’s law enforcement officers and they will stand with our armed services together against all attacks.”
Speaking of recent events experienced across the nation with law enforcement, Balling advised that “we need to come together as a community and as a nation to support our veterans and law enforcement personnel. All lives matter, including theirs. Communication and the willingness to work together will be keys to overcoming this and we can do it.”
Balling urged those in attendance to honor the past and learn from it.
“I am proud to look out on the courtsquare today and see so many heroes,” Balling said. “From the veterans who gave so much to their families that also sacrifice for it, to the officers who run toward dangers, and to the deputies who stay calm in critical situations to help save the lives of others. I see heroes everywhere I look across this courtsquare.”
Veterans Day ceremonies were held throughout the county to honor the nation’s heroes. Schools and nursing homes held various programs to say thank you to the county’s veterans.