Military service takes sacrifice, and a local event is honoring those who’ve served the best way they know how.
A Veterans Salute event was held at the Chippewa Manor in Chippewa Falls on Wednesday morning to celebrate and recognize the Chippewa Falls Patriotic Council. The annual event focused on the Patriotic Council this year for its dedicated service to veterans and veterans events in the community.
Chippewa Falls Mayor Gregory Hoffman said events such as Wednesday’s are important because they shine a light on a segment of the population who’ve devoted either a part, or their entire life, to the service and protection of the United States.
“It’s important for the community to recognize those who served,” Hoffman said. “The community is very patriotic and supportive of veterans. We, of course, are saddened by those who’ve died while in service, but they did it for their country and their love for their community. It’s always hard to deal with that sacrifice, but today we’re doing our part to celebrate them.”
The event consisted of live music, a “Missing Man” formation airplane flyover, a video presentation profiling veteran’s stories, formal recognition of all veterans in attendance, special guest speakers, including Hoffman, and culminating in a ceremonial presentation of American and military flags with a traditional gun salute performed by the Patriotic Council Honor Guard.
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Hoffman said events such as this are of particular importance to him, as his son served in the military and he learned what a true sacrifice it is to serve your country.
“I feel connected to events like this because my son was in the Marines,” Hoffman said. “He went through some interesting times, so I know a lot of it is pretty tragic. But they do it to provide safety for this country, and I just want to thank them all and know I appreciate what they’ve done.”
Amanda Leslie, event attendee and mother of a veteran, said her son Mark’s service in the United States Army has shown her firsthand what it is like to worry every day about a military service member’s safety, and events show her the Chippewa Falls community cares about its veterans and their service is not going unnoticed.
“I’m glad to see people appreciate the sacrifice veterans make every day,” Leslie said. “We all know how hard it is to lose someone who is in the military, but some of the veterans who come back from service have to deal with a lot when they come home. They live hard lives, so anything we can do to show some appreciation for them is worth anyone’s time.”
Although the official Veterans Day holiday is set for Monday, Nov. 11, the officials who put on the event Wednesday morning and all those who attended feel it is important to celebrate veterans every day and not just on the annual celebration of the United States military.