On Veterans Day, locals explain why you can honor those who served all year long

DULUTH, MN(Northern News Now)
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 5:18 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN -- Organizations and groups around the Northland celebrated Veterans Day in various ways

“They understand that this country was founded on freedom, you have to defend it every single day,” said Jay Hagen, with the Veterans Memorial Hall.

People from local elementary schools, students at UMD, and families of veterans all helped celebrate.

Perhaps the largest Veterans Day event was held at the American Legion, where Hagen and others paid their respects to veterans in Duluth, who also attended.

“We celebrate Veterans Day because veterans were willing to do things other people wouldn’t do and chose not to do and because of the sacrifices of the veterans, we can live in a free country,” said Dwight Nelson, a Navy Veteran who served in the Vietnam War, and the emcee at today’s event.

Nelson said for veterans like him, the show of appreciation means the world.

“It’s very fulfilling for the veterans but at the same time for the non-veterans. It was their way of showing their appreciation,” he said.

According to Nelson, there are other ways to show support as well.

Year-round, groups and organizations like the American Legion, VFW, and Disabled American Veterans use volunteers and donations to help serve those veterans.

“Veterans organizations are notorious for needing volunteers,” he said, “there’s plenty of ways all they have to do is go to any of those organizations and ask.”

Those organizations all help vets in tangible ways, but Nelson says sometimes a little bit of appreciation goes a long way.

“A thank you, just a simple thank you, it’ll put a lump in the throat of every veteran,” he said.

The American Legion has a list of volunteer opportunities on its website.