FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – For Veterans Day, groups sponsored a variety of events to honor men and women who have served in our country's armed forces.
We obviously have a new generation of veterans, after wars and conflicts over the past 20 years in the Middle East.
And with thousands of World War II veterans dying every day, Veterans Day takes on a renewed special meaning every year.
Children at Perry Hill elementary school serenaded the 81 veterans who attended their Veterans Day event.
The principal there said these men and women show students what pride, honor, and responsibility really look like.
And veterans tell us that incorporating those qualities into the curriculum is a pleasant change from previous generations.
"It's really great to see that the kids are getting some sense of what we grew up with, you know, the patriotism, the love for the flag and love for the country," says Bill Dinius of the U.S. Army Reserve.
"I think it was very impressive, especially for the youngest youngsters. I was really impressed with what they learned, all the songs they learned for this, the actions," says William “Jake” Elliott, retired from the U.S. Navy Air Corps.
Area veterans also participated in a re-dedication ceremony for a Vietnam-era tank that once stood in Johnny Appleseed Park.
The tank's official new home is in Riverview cemetery in the 11,000 block of Carroll Road.
Cemetery leaders acquired the tank so it would be taken care of, and become the focal point of the newly-designed veterans’ section.
"We had hired a cemetery architect from Washington, DC who's done 60 veterans cemeteries in the past. And he suggested having a centerpiece for the veterans’ section of either a piece of artillery or a tank. But we're very fortunate enough, as you know, right behind me, to have the M-41 Bulldog," says funeral home president David McComb.
And at IPFW, the fourth annual Veterans Day flag ceremony to honor people who've served and have returned to academia.
The university welcomes enrolling veterans with open arms, and continues to offer support and assistance so they can reach their post-service dreams.
While more veterans return to school than other non-traditional students or recent high school grads they also face more challenges, which is something the school tries to help them overcome.
"Trying to help them stay enrolled, assisting them with advising, assisting them with financial obligations, whatever we can do to make the process easier for them in the transition,” says Major David Peterson, U.S. Army (Ret.).
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