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Veterans honored at annual program, guest speaker shares Vietnam experience

American Legion Post 87 member Owen Miller carries the prisoner of war/missing in action flag to the front of the church for posting. (Beth Leipholtz / Echo Press)1 / 3
Veterans Day program guest speaker, the Rev. Noel Rich of Alexandria, spoke of his time in Vietnam and how serving brought him closer to God. (Beth Leipholtz / Echo Press)2 / 3
Calvary Lutheran Church in Alexandria hosted the 2017 Veterans Day program on Saturday, Nov. 11. (Beth Leipholtz / Echo Press)3 / 3

The sun shone brightly as the pews in Calvary Lutheran Church in Alexandria filled for the annual Veterans Day program on Saturday, Nov. 11.

The program consisted of recognition of veterans and posting of the colors, as well as a prayer for all prisoners of war and those missing in action.

Guest speaker, the Rev. Noel Rich of Alexandria, spoke of his time serving in Vietnam and how the experience brought him closer to God. He also spoke of the sacrifices those serving make when it comes to family.

"When I got my orders, my daughter had just been born," he said. "She was 5 months old when I put my boots on the ground in Vietnam. I got back and she was walking and talking and she wasn't very sure who I was. So thank you, families, for staying and being there for those in your family that have served."

Other Veterans Day events in Douglas County included a Veterans Day program at the Osakis High School, a breakfast at the Elk's Lodge in Alexandria, programs at Voyager and Carlos Elementary Schools, a program at Ecumen Bethany and a program at the Alexandria Senior Center featuring retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Rick Devereaux, who spoke about how climate change affects our national security.

About Veterans Day

Nov. 11 is recognized across the country as Veterans Day. It is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended World War I. In fact, from 1926 until 1954, Nov. 11 was known as Armistice Day. It was then changed to Veterans Day to celebrate the service of all military veterans in the United States.

Beth Leipholtz

Beth is a reporter at the Echo Press. She graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in May 2015 with a degree in Communication and Hispanic Studies. Journalism has always been her passion, but she also enjoys blogging and graphic design. In her spare time, she's most likely at Crossfit or at home with her boyfriend and three dogs.

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