Ceremonial salute

(from left to right) Mike Shults, Steven Hatfield and Ken Kestner performing the three-round salute.

A short remembrance ceremony was held at the Lake County Courthouse on Monday in recognition of Veterans Day.

Coordinated by the Layne Clifton VFW Post 4070, the ceremony continued a long-standing tradition to recognize the sacrifice of Lake County veterans in American foreign wars adjacent to the war memorial on the courthouse lawn. The ceremony began around 11 a.m., in connection with Veterans Day’s origins – originally known as Armistice Day in recognition of the end of World War I’s ceasefire signed at 11:11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918. The holiday was changed to Veterans Day to recognize the sacrifice made of all military veterans in 1954.

The event featured a color guard comprised of VFW Post 4070 members who presented an American flag, the local VFW flag, and a MIA/POW flag. People from the community came out to watch the event and to honor those that served in the armed forces.

David Swart, of the local VFW post, started the event by acknowledging veterans and the service they provide to the country.

“A veteran is an individual that signed a piece of paper to go anywhere in the world,” Said Swart.

After those comments Mike Shults, Steven Hatfield, and Ken Kestner performed a three-round rifle salute to veterans. James Middleton performed taps, as a remembrance to those that did not come back home, to end the ceremony.

The short ceremony has been an annual mainstay, also performed on Memorial Day, as a means for the public to recognize Lake County veterans. Lake County residents who have died in military service in foreign wars are emblazoned on plaques attached to the brick war memorial, easily viewed by highway traffic on F Street.

In addition to Monday’s ceremony, regional veterans were also treated to a free dinner on Saturday at the Lakeview Elks Lodge in recognition of their service. See related article for details.

For video of the VFW Veterans Day remembrance ceremony is available on the Examiner’s Youtube and Facebook page.

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