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Local veterans celebrate their special day Friday

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect. A year later, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time on Nov. 11, 1919.

In 1926, the United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I and declared the anniversary of the armistice should be commemorated with prayer and thanksgiving. In 1954, the veterans service organizations urged Congress to change the word "Armistice" to "Veterans." Congress approved this change and Nov. 11 became a day to honor all American veterans, wherever and whenever they had served.

For Fond du Lac veterans service officer Thomas Whitebird, Veterans Day is all about “appreciating and saying thank you to our brothers and sisters for the sacrifice they made or are making to ensure that we enjoy this freedom.”

The Vietnam War veteran said he loves working with other veterans.

“It gives me so much joy that I am able to do something for these brave veterans, by serving them a meal on this day just to say thank you,” he said.

Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank all military personnel who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans. It is marked by parades, church services, dinners and in many places the American flag is hung at half mast. A period of silence lasting two minutes may be held at 11 a.m.

The following are some of the activities being held across Carlton County on Veterans Day Friday.

Brookston Veterans Memorial Park

The Brookston Veterans Memorial Park Advisory Board was proud to hold the first flag-raising ceremony for the Brookston Veterans Memorial Park on July Fourth this year. The vision for this memorial park is to preserve and maintain a setting that communicates dignity and respect for those being honored. The board is further committed to creating a place where veterans, families and citizens can gather to reflect and pay tribute to those who have unselfishly made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

The centerpiece of the park is the town’s old bank vault, which houses the names and photos of local veterans. If you would like your veteran’s name and photo in the vault, contact coordinators Cheryl Lamb at 218-345-6334 or Shelly LeDoux at 218-464-7736.

The memorial park vault is open for viewing on Veterans Day, Memorial Day, July Fourth and upon special request.

Cromwell-Wright Veterans Day program

The annual Veterans Day program at Cromwell-Wright school will be held Friday, Nov. 11, in the gymnasium. All veterans, active military and families are invited. Enjoy refreshments in the cafeteria at 8:30 a.m. followed by the program at 9 a.m. Guests will be escorted into the gym. Veterans are encouraged to come so you can be recognized and honored for your service and dedication to our country.

There will be a Veterans Day program at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at Villa Vista in Cromwell. All area veterans and friends of the Villa are invited to attend and share the story of their military service. Bring along any memorabilia you have for “show and tell” time. There will be special presentation of the casket flag from a former Cromwell serviceman. The vets are invited to stay for lunch in the Cardinal Court activity room.

Fond du Lac Veterans

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa welcomes all veterans and members of the community for a Veterans Day dinner at the Black Bear Casino Resort’s Otter Creek event center, 1785 Highway 210, Carlton. It will commence with registration at 4:30 p.m. and dinner at 5 p.m.

Contact veterans service officer Thomas Whitebird with any questions at 218-878-2670 or 218-269-7125.

Hebert Kennedy VFW Post 3979

The Cloquet VFW will host a Veterans Day Dinner from 4-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11.  Each year, the VFW Auxiliary and the American Legion offer a free turkey dinner to veterans, while guests are welcome with an $8 plate donation. There will be no take-outs.

Nicholson-Sellgren VFW Post 2962

The Carlton VFW has organized a Veterans Day Dinner on Friday, Nov. 11, at the Carlton Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2962. The program will start at 5 p.m. and a roast beef dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. All veterans eat free and non-veterans will pay a fee of $6. Sign up at the post or call 218-384-3794.

Carlton County Historical Society

The Carlton County Historical Society will hold a Veterans Day Program at its museum in Cloquet at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11. The program features the six military personnel whose medals, service bars, and awards of achievement are included in the museum's current exhibit "The Power of Pins." Learn more about J. C. Long, a Cloquet World War I veteran; Marvin Gleason, a Cloquet pilot during the Korean conflict (featured in the Pine Journal this week); Louise Jewell Wimmer, a Carlton U.S. Coast Guard World War II veteran; John H. Pigman, a Cloquet West Point graduate serving in the Korean theater; John Buytaert, a Cloquet U.S. Army veteran and Minnesota National Guard member; and Harold Michelson, a Carlton County World War II U.S. Navy veteran serving in the Pacific. Visit with their relatives and help commemorate their service on Veterans Day. After the program, refreshments will be available. Regular admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children under 12, and free admission for children under 5 and Carlton County Historical Society members. The museum is handicapped accessible. For more information, call 218-879-1938.