CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- As Veteran’s Day approaches, one of the longest running local celebrations was held at Chippewa Manor Residential Living Thursday Morning.
Nearly 200 veterans and their families enjoyed a special breakfast and program full of tributes to men and women who have served our country.
"Its really grown over the years, from something that I think maybe we had a concept of just doing really internally for the people that we care for and it very quickly expanded to the whole community at large and that happened organically because people from the community showed up,” said Brandon Thorsness, Chippewa Manor Vice President.
The event also featured a traditional gun salute by the Chippewa Falls Patriotic Council and formation airplane flyover honoring local veterans.
Chippewa Manor is home to many veterans and wives of veterans. They shared what this salute means to them.
"Its very impressive. I wish my husband was here to see it but I lost him four years ago," said Joyce Sperber. Ardell Hepfler says her husnand would have enjoyed the program as well and would have enjoyed recalling his time in service. "I wish he was here,” she says.
Local veterans attending the event say it sparked memories for them.
"Us Korean Veterans always said we were the forgotten warriors because it was the second world war and then the Vietnam war and we were in between and we kind of got left out of it but we did our job well," says Jerome Steinmetz.
Steinmetz says the program was very special to him. "It gets into my heart. I tell you, I really feel that. When I see people gathered together like that. and I’m not the only one here. The rest of us, all feel the same way. Veterans, there’s ladies and men here that are all veterans, "says Steinmetz.
Organizers say the event continues to grow over the years thanks to community support.