The annual state Veterans Day celebration was held this morning in Des Moines. Veterans from World War Two,Vietnam,Korea and those who more recently served listened to patriotic music and were acknowledge during the ceremony at Veterans Auditorium.
The director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Regional office in Des Moines, Terri Beer, gave the keynote address and talked about the definition of a veteran.
“Men and women who gave of themselves what no one day of tribute could ever truly honor and what no one day of appreciation can fully acknowledge,” Beer says. She says the men and women have served this country in war and peace and at home and abroad. “Individually and collectively, veterans are the lifeblood of our democracy,” Beer says. “As President Obama has reminded us, when the world is threatened, it calls on America. And we call on our troops.”
Beer says the people who serve our country in the military come from all walks of life. “They are our fathers, mothers, grandfathers, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles. They are our neighbors, friends and colleagues,” according to Beer. “They are people who offered life’s most vital years in service to country and sometimes sacrifice their health and welfare for us. They were our protectors and defenders, war fighters, peace makers and peace keepers.”
Beer promised that the Veterans Administration would continue working to serve the veterans who served and sacrificed for our country. “Today we rightfully express our appreciation for the unwavering dedication of our veterans to America’s defense. And we extend to them all the honors and all the thanks of a grateful, grateful nation. God Bless all of you — our veterans — and those serving in uniform today, and our great nation.”
The ceremony also included the reading of proclamation from Governor Terry Branstad honoring the veterans.