On November 11th, 2011 I woke up early and prepared for what would be a very long day. I had spent a couple months planning for the day and most of the week before making sure all the details were finalized. I left my home in Cannon Falls for Northfield around 6:45 AM. I decided I needed a good breakfast so I made my way to Perkins for a nice meal.
• 8:30 a.m.—I headed to for a they were doing for all veterans. The ceremony began with a trumpet prelude, and throughout the program the students lead us in the pledge of allegiance, star spangled banner, educated us on some of the branches of the military and helped us sing our branch songs before concluding with a slideshow of all the Veterans and Military family members associated with the school. Following the program several students handed out thank you cards they had made to the veterans and we had cookies and coffee.
I thought it was an incredible program and think it is marvelous that the school took all the time necessary to put that program together just to honor us. Thanks to all the staff and students at Bridgewater Elementary for that.
• 10:00 a.m.—I headed off to the to pick up the coffee and cups they donated to our Veterans Day program. I then headed off to the where we would be serving the donuts donated by and juice purchased by a donation from . I then proceeded over to the Veterans Memorial to help finishing setup and prepared for the ceremony.
• 11:00 a.m.—On the 11th day of the 11th Month at the 11th Hour of the year 2011. We began the Veterans Day program that I previously blogged about. Our guest Speaker Mike Herman gave a wonderful speech and from the looks of the crowd I would say we had maybe 100-125 people or more watching. We also had cameramen all over the place. Photographers from the Northfield News, as well as , and a few friends of mine were taking photos to help .
After our approximately 30-minute ceremony we joined everyone at the Lion's park pavillion to enjoy our donuts and coffee. Lots of great conversation was had and all enjoyed the time.
Following this I loaded up the coffee container and brought it back to the Quarterback Club and then headed over to the for a little break before my next activity.
• 1 p.m.—I had arrived at the Northfield for lunch. Just one of the many resteraunts in the city of Northfield and throughout the state and country providing a free meal to Veterans in honor of their service. My group was fortunate enough to get seated at what they were calling the community table. It was groups of people who were small enough to sit together and make a larger group. We were able to meet a few other Veterans from the area and I may have even recruited a few to join the Veterans of Foreign Wars as they are not currently members.
• 2:30 p.m.—I was at Three Links Care Center for a program there. We joined the residents for there normal coffee break. However, with the help of their activities coordinator, we threw a twist into their usual afternoon. We sang a few songs and did the pledge of allegiance. Then we socialized with them and the Veterans who live at the care center.
We do this annually as we feel that since they can not join us at the Veterans Park for the ceremony we should join them in some way to honor their service as well.
• 3:30 p.m.—We gathered at the for a very similar activity. This being the first time there in many years a program was not put together, however we did have a great time socializing with the veterans in the home.
At about 4:30 my Veterans Day was complete. I finished my day with a nice steak at the V.F.W. post's monthly steak fry and then a night out with some friends.
I did all of this because as you all know, I am a Veteran. I believe that all Veterans should be recognized for their service to the United States.
There are many men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, and many others who have been willing to make that same sacrifice.
I would like to extend a special thanks to all those involved in making our Veterans Day marvelous.
For all the donations: EconoFoods, Cub Foods and the Quarterback Club.
Meals or other deals:, Applebee's, and any I may not have heard about.
For all the media coverage: , , and of course the great Northfield Patch.
Last but not least: All the great citizens of Northfield, Minnseota who showed up to support us.
I included just a few of the photographs I gathered through out the day. To view more photos, please visit http://vfw4393.org