Veterans Day a time to honor
West Fargo VFW Post 7564 has been hosting Veterans Day programs since 2000. Prior to that, the Club was involved with Patriotic Bodies out of Fargo.
Each year the program has become a little more intense and has now grown to the point where it is one of the Post's biggest celebrations of the year.
And that's just how it's viewed by everyone who attends, according to Dale Ronning, longtime member, past state commander and Vietnam veteran, presently serving as quartermaster adjutant. "It's a day of celebration for all vets - a big get-together of buddies who all have something in common - the fact that it's our day."
Ronning, who just returned from the last local Honor Flight excursion to Washington, D.C. honoring World War II veterans this last weekend, said the day packs special meaning for him personally.
"I used to work that day and my kids would be home from school. One day I took them to a Veterans Day parade, and I could see that I should be out with them instead of at work. From that day on I've always taken that day off from work to be there with fellow veterans."
Ronning said after spending time with World War II veterans on the Honor Flight, he would encourage as many of them as possible to visit the West Fargo Post on Veterans Day and partake in the fellowship and camaraderie. "It's coming to an end for them, and we want to make sure they are honored with special recognition one more time for their commitment and dedicated service."
The Post is normally closed on Sundays, but received permission to be open on Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov. 11, so they can appropriately recognize all veterans on their special day.
The festivities, hosted by the Post and Ladies Auxiliary members, will get underway at 11 a.m. with a flag raising ceremony in front of the Post at 308 Sheyenne St., followed by a program inside on the upper level of the Club. The ceremony will conclude with a 21-gun salute by the VFW Color Guard. The Ladies Auxiliary will be serving free stew at noon.
The Red River Valley Veteran's Concert Band will perform patriotic music during a special concert at 7:00 p.m. The band is an all-volunteer unit, totally supported through contributions, of which the West Fargo VFW is a community sponsor. The music performance is free.
The entire daylong Veterans Day event is open to the adult public and everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.