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2023 Veterans Day Service in Centralia


By Cathy Stuehmeier

This year’s Veterans Day service in Centralia was held at VFW Post #2055 at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 11 and hosted by all local veterans organizations and Mike and Judy Sutherland of Sutherland-Garnier Funeral Home. Opening prayer was given by James Luke Fitzgerald, an honoree of the Court of Honor. The welcome was given by Mike Sutherland and the keynote speaker was Staff Sergeant Adam Feig. Court of Honor inductees were presented by Judy Sutherland. The Benediction was given by Mike Sutherland. A very large crowd attended, paying their respect to all the veterans as well as those inducted into the court of honor.

Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, marked the end of WWI between the allied nations and Germany. Armistice Day was intended to dedicate a day to remind nations to seek peaceful relationships between one another in hopes that nations would never again be divided. World War I, originally know as the “The Great War,” was referred to as “the war to end all wars.” The armistice was signed in Compiègne, France in 1918 at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. After World War II and the Korean War, Congress recognized a need to expand the meaning of the day to recognize all of our veterans and not just those of World War I. In 1954, the word “Armistice” was replaced with “Veterans” as a way to formally include all American veterans to be recognized with a day of remembrance.

With special gratitude, we thank the Centralia VFW, Mike and Judy Sutherland and their staff, and everyone that had any part in honoring our veterans.

Pictured above, this year’s Court of Honor inductees gathered together with program sponsors Mike and Judy Sutherland during the event. (L to R), front row: Judy Sutherland, Adam Feig, Luke Fitzgerald, Mary Hollingshead, George Hiltibidal Jr., Mark Ivy, Mike Sutherland; second row: Shawn Scarlett, Neely Reed, Scott Kalkbrenor, and Tom Kalkbrenor.

The presentation of colors by the Honor Guard detail during the annual Veteran’s Day Service.

Pictured is Staff Sergeant Adam Feig who served as keynote speaker at the Veterans Day service held at VFW Post 2055. Adams was also inducted into the 2023 Court of Honor.

Pictured is the final inductee into this year’s Court of Honor, Army Veteran George Hiltibidal Jr. (who just turned 100 years old in October), standing with Mike Sutherland of Sutherland-Garnier Funeral Home, Sutherland-Rankin Funeral Home and Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery.

The picture above says it all. This little girl shows her true American spirit on Veterans Day as she places her right hand on her heart while facing our flag and reciting the pledge of allegiance without missing a word. May God bless and keep her today and always.

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