From: Roger Reitmaier
Our 27th annual Veterans Vigil is history. November 11, 2019, was a very challenging day weather-wise with teens for highs and single digits for lows with a stiff north wind — January weather in November. In spite of that, during the 24-hour period of that day, over 100 watch standers stood one-hour shifts in silent tribute to local veterans who have served our great nation in the Armed Forces. Each and every hour of the 24-hour day was covered by two or more patriots. For many hours there were six or more standing watch. We thank each and every one for their participation. Approximately 25 watch standers have stood a watch for 20 straight years or more. Many others never missed a vigil until old age prevented them from standing out in the cold for an hour.
Recognition of our loyal citizens who took park is appropriate. Approximately 40 students, mainly seniors, from Winona Senior High and Cotter High took part in the vigil by standing watch along with the scheduled watch standers. We obviously can’t list the names of all of our watch standers. But we can recognize by name those who played a significant role behind the scenes to flesh out the vigil. They are Ward and Debbie Anderson, Jon Grossardt, Don Peterson, Jeff Lueck, Dwayne Voegeli, and Keith Kuehl. In addition, the following stood three-hour shifts to provide support of those standing watch: Jeff Lueck, Don Peterson, Greg Kuentopp and Gary Christianson. Without these “can do” citizens providing leadership, the vigil would not have become a reality. Lastly, thanks to all the Winona area citizens who came out to visit, share their stories of loved ones who have served our country in the military and to listen to the stories of veterans. The word “gratitude” sums it all up.