Veterans Day dawned cold and wet in Evanston, and an early morning tweet went out announcing, “Due to inclement weather, today’s Veterans Day ceremony in Fountain Square has been canceled.”
At 10 a.m., the square was desolate, with the rain-soaked United States and POW flags clinging to the flagpole at half mast.
Nevertheless, by 10:30 a.m., the time originally appointed for the Veterans Day Ceremony hosted by American Legion Evanston Post 42, a few hardy souls entered the square.
Margaret Nelson came first, with two carefully rolled signs to protect them from the rain asking for jobs and services for vets. A puppeteer, she learned her craft from a veteran.
Nancy Braund arrived and expressed surprise that a little rain could interfere with such an important event. Braund’s father and cousins were vets and her fiancé was killed in Vietnam.
Next, an 80-year-old veteran walked up and when told the event was canceled, proclaimed, “I thought we lived in the land of the brave!” He declined to give his name, but said he had spent 30 years in the Air Force, training in San Antonio and serving in Germany and Panama.
The small gathering grew with the arrival of veterans Tom Fronczak, US Navy, and Greg Wilson, US Air Force, both of whom served in Vietnam in the late 1960s.
Eric Feldman, a Son of the American Legion, showed up to honor his late father, former 9th Ward Alderman Gene Feldman. Susan Cooney came and said her son, Ed Cooney, had served in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Daughters of the American Revolution had a small delegation including Colleen and Jack Rosenthal, Diddy Blyth, Deborah Domain and Evanston Chapter Secretary Nancy Schultz.
Finally, Devorah Turner, who serves as treasurer for VFW Post 7186, encouraged the small group to recite the Pledge of Allegiance together. As the group stood at attention, the flags freed themselves from the watery pole and waved in the background.
Thanks for being there, weather or no weather, and for reporting on the event!
Appreciate you coming out yesterday. When you family volunteers to join the armed forces you know what honoring our service men and women means. Thank you for making our armed forces feel we do appreciate their willingness to protect our country.
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