Veterans Day, also known as Armistice Day, is celebrated each year on the 11th day of the 11th month of the year. Nov. 11 is the anniversary of the end of World War I.
The Iowa Veterans Cemetery near Van Meter was once again the host of this year’s Veterans Day Service in the committal shelter on Saturday morning. The guest speaker was U.S. Marine Corps Captain, Dan Gannon, a veteran of the Vietnam War, who is also the chairman of the Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs.
Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day serves to recognize all veterans who have served in the military, including those who have come home. Gannon spoke about their service in his speech.
“You have gone above and beyond your citizen’s duty to volunteer… your lives and livelihoods and to answer the call to your country for the freedoms that we all enjoy,” Gannon said.
Gannon went on to talk about his experience in the Vietnam War and the bravery and devotion to each other that he saw from his fellow soldiers. He said that if there is one thing that soldiers could love about war, it is the relationship they have with their fellow soldiers.
“This close relationship is difficult to describe unless you have been there and done that,” Gannon said. “And, what I mean is, the opportunity to have served your country in a combat environment during war times with their fellow soldiers and friends. They surely had each other’s backs.”
He went on to say that veterans are not only heroes of the wars they fought in, but also of the health issues some of them came home with, including post traumatic stress disorder, agent orange and others.
“After weighing those concerns against your obligations to this great country of ours, you served your country with honor and I ask each of you to treat each other with dignity and respect that you’ve all earned,” Gannon said.
He also took a moment to recognize the families of veterans, those who have had to see their loved ones go off to war and to serve their country.
He closed his speech by calling out to Veterans, letting them know that if they need help, they can reach out to the Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs.
In addition to the speech given by Gannon, the guests were welcomed by BG (ret) Jodi Tymeson, Executive Director of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, the invocation and benediction were give by Father Vince Rosonke from St. Boniface Catholic Church in Waukee, the colors were presented by Boy Scout Troop 222 from Martensdale, musical selections were performed by the Young Patriots Club, led by Julie Dueker, and Davis Dalton from Waukee High School played “The Sounding of Taps” to conclude the ceremony.