From: Roger Reitmaier
The 21st annual Veterans’ Vigil will take place at Veterans’ Memorial Park in Winona on Monday, November 11, beginning at midnight, for the next 24 hours. The Vigil’s purpose is to honor those citizens of Winona and surrounding area who honorably served or are currently serving the U.S.A. in the armed forces. In collaboration with area Veterans’ clubs, veterans and family/friends of deceased, veterans and deployed military will stand one hour ‘watches’ at the center flag area of Veterans’ Memorial Park in silent tribute to the service of friends, family and fellow veterans, both living and deceased.
Veteran service clubs taking part in the Vigil are: the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Hiawatha Valley Marines (HVM), Am Vets and various area VFW and American Legion Clubs. Other groups standing watch are the Winona Police Color Guard, and Winona and Pickwick Fire Departments. For veteran club members to reserve a one hour time slot to stand watch, American Legion sign up sheets are posted at the Winona Veterans’ Center on East Sarnia Street (454-4281) and VFW members at the VFW club on East Third Street (454-1065). For non-club member veterans (honorably discharged), family, friends or questions concerning the Vigil may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 507-450-2483. Those interested please sign up by November 5.
The public is invited to participate by coming to the Park (at the main flag area near the band shell) anytime during the 24 hours of 11/11, to reflect on the day’s meaning among the beautiful memorials, to pay your respect to those standing watch. A visitors’ log is available in the watch standers’ warm up shelter located beneath the band shell (enter at the northeast corner) to jot down personal reflections and to mingle with others gathered there. This is a good opportunity for parents/mentors to bring children to Vets’ Park to learn more about those who serve and have served to keep us safe and safeguard the freedoms we hold dear. The best time to come is for the 11 a.m. ceremony.
The Veterans’ Vigil is not a political statement or event. We encourage everyone who “supports the troops” to come anytime during the 24 hours and stand with those ‘standing watch’ regardless of political stance on issues of war and peace. We all love peace and freedom. Come honor those who have helped bring it about. The Vigil is genuinely all inclusive. So if you hope for the safety and well being of our individual military service men and women and honor their service, you are welcome to join us.
For other events of the day, please contact the Winona Veterans Center (454-4281), the VFW (454-1065) or the Winona County Veterans’ office (457-6455).