The Lakes-region Color Guard observed Veterans Day at the Veterans Memorial in downtown Detroit Lakes on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
In front of a stone memorial commemorating service members from Becker County who gave their lives in service to the United States, the Lake-region veterans conducted a short ceremony, which included a 21-gun rifle salute.
During the ceremony, Gary Rehborg, a Vietnam War Army veteran, said, "When we think about Veterans Day, of course our hearts swell up with gratitude and thanks for the millions of men and women who have dawned the uniform ready to, and have, put their lives on-the-line for this great country."
Rehborg, a chaplain, said veterans are bonded together by faith and a love for God and country.
He also read a Veterans Day prayer, which said: "O God, great and mighty, creator of all things, we thank and praise you. For the freedom we enjoy in our country, and pray that our liberties will continue to be protected. Thank you for America's heroes that have fought for our freedoms and who have faithfully served our country. We honor all of our veterans for their sacrifices and for their courage and integrity. As we celebrate these freedoms, we ask your blessing on those veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending our country. Bless their families and comfort them with the thankful prayers of a grateful nation. We thank you for our veterans past and present. Through the efforts of those individuals, help us to continue to promote justice in all nations. And again, we pray it in the name of Christ, our God and savior. Amen."
The Veterans Day commemoration is usually hosted by Detroit Lakes High School, however, because of COVID-19 pandemic, the annual breakfast served by the FFA student group was canceled.
After the event, Detroit Lakes VFW precinct Commander Jason Bristlin, a Navy veteran, invited all of the event attendees to the Detroit Lakes VFW on Washington Avenue for a complementary lunch hosted by the post.
"Why is (Veterans Day) so important, honestly, because I think that every veteran, every person who's ever served, the number one thing that they care about is respect," said Bristlin. "They continue to want to serve their communities in thousands of different ways, but all they want is respect, people to thank them, and that's it."