Local schools, organizations honor Mount Prospect VFW Post 1337

Local schools, organizations honor Mount Prospect VFW Post 1337

  • Veterans gather Nov. 6 at Central Elementary School, Des Plaines, for a Veterans Day school assembly.

    Veterans gather Nov. 6 at Central Elementary School, Des Plaines, for a Veterans Day school assembly. Courtesy of Dutch DeGroot

  • Members of VFW Post 1337 and American Legion Post 525 attend a school program at Terrace Elementary School in Des Plaines. American Legion Post 525 members Bill Starr and Dennis Kane present the colors with local Girl Scouts.

    Members of VFW Post 1337 and American Legion Post 525 attend a school program at Terrace Elementary School in Des Plaines. American Legion Post 525 members Bill Starr and Dennis Kane present the colors with local Girl Scouts. Courtesy of Dutch DeGroot

  • Veterans pose with students from Link Elementary School in Elk Grove Village Nov. 11. The Veterans Day program put on by VFW Post 1337 was attended by 680 students.

    Veterans pose with students from Link Elementary School in Elk Grove Village Nov. 11. The Veterans Day program put on by VFW Post 1337 was attended by 680 students. Courtesy of Dutch DeGroot

  • Pictured Nov. 12 with students from St. Raymond School, Mount Prospect, are Les Durove, commander VFW Post 1337; Bill Starr, commander American Legion Post 525; and Dutch DeGroot, service officer.

    Pictured Nov. 12 with students from St. Raymond School, Mount Prospect, are Les Durove, commander VFW Post 1337; Bill Starr, commander American Legion Post 525; and Dutch DeGroot, service officer. Courtesy of Dutch DeGroot

  • On Nov. 12, Dennis Kane, a member of American Legion Post 525, leads students from Anne Sullivan School in Prospect Heights in a salute to our national anthem.

    On Nov. 12, Dennis Kane, a member of American Legion Post 525, leads students from Anne Sullivan School in Prospect Heights in a salute to our national anthem. Courtesy of Dutch DeGroot

 
Submitted by Dutch DeGroot, MSgt, U. S. Air Force, (ret.)
Posted12/4/2019 12:31 PM

The 11th day of November each year has been designated as a day to salute the nation's veterans. Many local schools and civic organizations have a long history sponsoring events to honor our military heroes.

They have discovered, however, that one day is simply not sufficient for all of them to do that. This year, in a weeklong series of special programs, 12 area schools, along with the Lutheran Home in Arlington Heights, the veterans of Mount Prospect Post 1337 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars were welcomed and thanked for their service and sacrifices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

As the name implies, each member of Post 1337 served at least one tour of duty in a combat zone during wartime.

The celebrations began Wednesday, Nov. 6, and Thursday, Nov. 7, at Central and Terrace Elementary schools in Des Plaines and MacArthur Middle School in Prospect Heights with assemblies of the students, faculty and staff joining in a series of presentations and programs.

On Nov. 9, the Lutheran Home hosted its annual Veterans Celebration Breakfast. Many veterans are residents of Luther Home and many more local vets, including Post 1337, were invited to attend. This was a wonderful event, during which 224 veterans enjoyed a meal and had an opportunity to share memories with other local vets.

Included in the program was a salute to the United States Marine Corps in recognition of its 244th birthday and a Soldiers Cross Ceremony.

On Monday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day, post members were honored at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Hunting Ridge and Jane Addams Elementary schools in Palatine; Windsor Elementary School in Arlington Heights; and Link Elementary School in Elk Grove Village.

Back home, Post 1337 and the Mount Prospect American Legion Post 525, supported by the Mount Prospect Park District, co-sponsored a Veterans Day ceremony at Lions Park. More than 60 local veterans attended and were joined by Village Mayor Arlene Juracek and Chief of Police John Koziol.

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Included in the program was local soloist Elvira Ponticelli, who led area veterans in several patriotic songs.

Keynote speaker Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Dutch DeGroot reminded the vets of the importance of honoring the Stars and Stripes by standing and rendering a military salute whenever the flag is presented and when the national anthem is played.

DeGroot also said that the veterans should be sure to explain to young children who are family members or whom they otherwise may encounter what a veteran is and how our military keeps them safe.

His remarks were followed by a luncheon to honor attendees for their service that was sponsored by the Mount Prospect Police Department.

Later that week, Post 1337 vets attended assemblies and presentations at Orchard Place School in Des Plaines, Anne Sullivan Elementary School in Prospect Heights and Lincoln Middle School and St. Raymond's School in Mount Prospect.

More than 25 members of Post 1337 attended one or more of the events described above, all of whom were deeply moved by the love and respect they were shown by all of the participants.

After this Veterans Day, they have renewed energy toward completing the mission of the VFW -- to provide aid and assistance, as needed, to fellow veterans and not to forget the POW and MIA soldiers, sailors and airmen who are still serving and sacrificing for America.

Any qualified veteran interested in becoming a member of Post 1337 or Post 525 may email Dutch DeGroot at service_officer@vfw1337.us.

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