LRE celebrates veterans

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Retired Army Spc. Karl Kurtz is pictured with his wife Julie and their service dogs at the Lake Riverside Estates Veterans Day Ceremony at the LRE community center. Diane Sieker photo

Retired Army Spc. Karl Kurtz organized and presented a Veterans Day Ceremony in Lake Riverside Estates Monday, Nov. 11. The event was well-attended by friends, neighbors, veterans and their families.

On this day, at the eleventh hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ended. Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiegne, France.

Originally called Armistice Day Nov. 11, 1919, it is the anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11, became a national holiday beginning in 1938.

In 1954, the 83rd U.S. Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Veterans Day has a special place in the hearts of many and the ceremony reflected the respect and honor given to these men and women.

The event featured the retiring of the current U.S. flag, replacing it with a new one. Boy Scouts from Troop 319, assisted by a veteran, lowered the old flag, folded it respectfully, and raised the new Stars and Stripes.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited and the national anthem was performed by Jessica Collins, bringing cheers.

Veterans and those still serving and their families were recognized with smiles and applause.

Karl Kurtz read a speech about the day, ending in a heartfelt poem. His organization of the ceremony was a labor of love and honor, he said.

Poppies and flags were presented as gifts to all in attendance.

Diane Sieker can be reached by email at dsieker@reedermedia.com.