Verona Veteran’s Day 2018 (copy)

Richard Schwenn cranks the handle on the flagpole to raise the American and Prisoner of War flags during the senior center’s Veterans Day program on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018.

The Verona Senior Center will host services to honor area veterans of all ages and all branches of service on Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11.

The program begins with a flag-raising ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Verona Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Hometown Junction Park. Flags from each of the five branches of the military are raised, followed by a flag representing those who were prisoners of war or are listed as missing in action.

Senior center director Stephanie Ehle will thank the veterans for their willingness to fight for their country and a local high school student will lead attendees in the national anthem while the U.S. flag is raised.

The program moves to the senior center at 108 Paoli St. at 11:30 a.m. where veterans who pre-registered will be served a free lunch. Family and friends of the veterans may join them to eat for $5.

At 12:30 p.m., a recognition ceremony will be held. The day will finish with the Quilts of Valor presentation at 1:15 p.m.

Sugar River Quilts of Valor is the local chapter of a national nonprofit organization that honors veterans with homemade quilts to thank them for their service and sacrifice. Quilts are awarded to veterans who have served in time of war, regardless of place of deployment.

The national organization began in 2003 to honor Iraq War veterans. The organization’s original mission statement said its purpose was “to cover all those service members and veterans wounded physically or psychologically with comforting and healing quilts.”

Local veterans may remain connected throughout the year by joining the Verona Vets Group, which meets for coffee and discussion on the second Thursday of every month at 3 p.m. at the senior center. Guest speakers are often invited to the meetings.

The group is also active outside of the monthly meetings, planning road trips and outings to places like the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee and the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa.

Neal Patten can be contacted at neal.patten@wcinet.com.