Chippewa Manor honors veterans with special salute and story display

Published: Nov. 9, 2023 at 3:27 PM CST
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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - With Veterans Day coming up on Saturday, a special salute was given to military servicemen and women in Chippewa Falls.

For 15 years, Chippewa Manor has held a Veterans Day celebration. Campus president, Jill Gengler, say during those years, staff members have collected dozens of stories remembering the many veterans in the community.

“I think the farther away we get from their service, the easier it can be to be forgotten,” Gengler said.

This year, the organization unveiled a display with over 130 stories from local veterans.

“Our veterans are most moved by receiving their story in print and framed as a way to tell their family that they haven’t always shared their stories with. I think that’s the most moving part of the whole program, and that’s why we continue to do it, to make that connection from the past to the present,” Gengler said.

David Steinmetz, a graduate of Bloomer High School and U.S. Navy veteran, is one of the many servicemen who’s story is on display.

“I joined the Navy and I told them I wanted to be a saltwater sailor. I don’t know if that was a good idea because I was on a ship all four years I was in (the military), but I’ve seen a lot of world and I got a wife,” Steinmetz said.

For Steinmetz, the holiday is about more than just sharing his story, it’s about honoring the sacrifice made by over 16 million veterans in the U.S.

“It reminds people what some of these people did for their country. You know, you put your life on the line,” Steinmetz said.

The “Veterans Stories” display will be placed in various locations throughout the community for the public to see.

“We feel it’s really important that they connect with these individual stories from the vets. It’s just a great way to pass on the tradition and get them to know about individual sacrifice and service,” Gengler said.

The celebration ended with a color-guard flag presentation and gun salute by the Chippewa Falls Patriotic Council.

An airplane flyover was supposed to take place after the salute, but was postponed due to the high winds Thursday morning. The plane will fly over Chippewa Manor on Friday, if weather allows.