SIDNEY — Military veterans who are members of the Senior Center of Sidney and Shelby County were honored by the center at a breakfast, Wednesday, Nov. 7.
After an introduction by Senior Center Administrative Assistant Darla Wilges, Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst proclaimed it Veteran Appreciation Day in the city of Sidney.
“Since the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord ushering in the Revolutionary War, American men and women have been answering the nation’s call to duty. Over the years, millions of Americans have served their country in times of both war and peace, defending our country, our freedom and way of life. The veterans to whom we pay tribute today came from all walks of life, but they shared several fundamental qualities. Those qualities include courage, pride, determination, selflessness, dedication to duty and integrity, all qualities needed to serve a cause greater than one’s self,” Barhorst said in making the proclamation.
“… The sacrifices that such members of the United States Armed Forces and of the family members that support them (have made) have preserved the liberties that have enriched this nation, making it unique in the world community … therefore, I … encourage the residents of Sidney to take time this week to acknowledge and recognize the accomplishments and contributions of all veterans, especially those within the city of Sidney, and thank them for their service,” he said.
Shelby County Commissioner Tony Bornhorst spoke on behalf of his fellow commissioners, Bob Guillozet and Julie Ehemann.
“We just concluded an election day, Tuesday,” he said. “It’s a testament to our country and to veterans who protect our elections. I want to thank you. It was a sacrifice when you put on that uniform, a sacrifice by you, your family and your community, because you were missed. Enjoy your day, and especially enjoy your day on Sunday. We greatly appreciate you. God bless America.”
The assembled veterans and their guests joined in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, led by John Laws, and in singing the national anthem.
Following the meal, Chris North, director of Shelby County Veterans Services, invited the former servicemen and women to stand for applause.
“I want to begin by recognizing all those among us who have been a part of the great brother- and sisterhood we call the U.S. military,” he said. “No matter what branch you served in, whether in peacetime or wartime, whatever your job path or how many years you served, raising your hand and committing yourself to service in the military was a brave and selfless act.”
North recounted the story of Gary “Mike” Rose, a Vietnam War special forces veteran from Alabama who was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Donald Trump in 2017.
“Rose received the nation’s highest military honor for his selfless efforts to care and safeguard fellow soldiers wounded in (a) bloody four-day battle … Facing insurmountable odds, he refused to quit. That refusal to back down is something I have seen day in and day out by my fellow veterans,” North said.
“When these men and women return home … the call to serve does not abruptly end. Many volunteer countless hours supporting fellow veterans annually,” he added. “We should be grateful not only for their time in the military, but for all they do to continue to give back to their country and its citizens long after their discharge is signed … Vocalizing our gratitude to veterans is a good start, but illustrating our thanks is most impactful with actions.
“Thank you for taking the time to remember our heroes. They never gave up on us, and we can’t give up on them,” North said.
Veterans at the breakfast were given tickets for a prize drawing. Mark Deam, of Sidney, won the prize, a quilt made by Janet Fischbach, of Sidney, featuring the eagle of the U.S. Great Seal.
The program concluded with a performance of patriotic songs by the Senior Center Choir. Attendees joined the choir for the finale by singing “God Bless America.”
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