On Saturday Nov. 11, members of the Vermillion community came together to honor and celebrate the sacrifices made by veterans and their families at the annual Vermillion High School (VHS) Veterans Day Service.
The planning for this honorary event begins taking place in August and has been taking place annually for well over a decade. In this time, the event has mainly been planned by VHS staff member Lenni Billberg with the help from Post Auxiliary members, as well as members of the American Legion.
Some of those who helped in the planning process include, but are not limited to, Post Auxiliary President Patricia Kozak, Post 1 Commander Joseph Knoer and Post Adjutant Jen Hovland.
Post Auxiliary Post 1 Commander and USD Student Veterans Resource Center Coordinator Knoer states that the Veterans Day Serve would not be accomplished without the help of Billberg.
“Lenni Billberg of VHS puts a lot of time and effort into the planning of our Veterans Day Ceremony, she has been doing it for over 10 years and we owe her our greatest gratitude for her hard work,” Knoer said. “This event would not be possible without all of the hours Lenni Billberg puts in behind the scenes. I would encourage anyone that comes across her to thank her for her commitment to the Veteran Community.”
This year’s Veterans Day Service consisted of several acts of honor and recognition, including the recognition of several students from within the Vermillion School district who had previously participated in both a Veterans Day essay and veterans biography competition, students who have chosen to enlist into the armed forces as well as one student who performed grave restorations on the graves of veterans on behalf of an Eagle Scout project.
The service also recognized this year’s Keynote speaker and a community member who has continuously worked diligently to aid the veteran community.
The event also included essays presented by two Vermillion second grade students on what Veterans Day means to them and performances by both the VHS band and choir members. Post Auxiliary members provided the event with baked goods and beverages for any of those in attendance.
As a reflection of the Veterans Day Service, Knoer gave insight as to why he finds events such as this to be important for all of those involved.
“Events like this give us the chance to thank our veterans for their service and recognize them in a public setting,” Knoer said. “While many people thank our veterans and service members on a daily basis, especially here in Vermillion, Veterans Day is the one special day each year that we can go the extra mile and thank our veterans at an event meant specifically for them.”