Honoring veterans has become a tradition at Valle Catholic. Time is set aside each year to celebrate the freedoms that veterans have provided us, and Valle Catholic looks forward to the time they can honor those veterans for their dedicated service in preserving that freedom.
This year’s Veterans Day Celebration began with Mass at the Church of Ste. Genevieve on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Many veterans from American Legion Post 150, VFW Post 2210 and veterans from WWII – Afghanistan/Iraq were in attendance along with the entire student body of Valle Catholic Schools.
The celebrant, Fr. Edward Nemeth was joined by veterans who filled the liturgical roles:
Servers were Bill Tlapek, Tom Roth, US Army and Norman Stoll, USAF. Reader was Larry Basler, US Army. Felix Meyer, USAF & grandson, Drake Meyer were the commentators. Eucharistic Ministers were spouses and daughter of veterans: Mary Jean Hoog, Carolyn Basler, Linda Kertz, Jan Weiler, and Sara Menard.
Petitions were read and presented by John Gegg, US Army and family.
An after Communion Reflection was offered by Tony Prudent, US Navy. Music was provided by Gene Operle.
Cub Scouts, Charlie McGuire, Austin Naeger, and Jack Thorne presented the offertory gifts. Boy Scouts, Paul Ahrens, August Palmer, and Peter Roth served as ushers.
The Color Guard from VFW Post 2210 posted and retired the colors.
Before the final Mass blessing and dismissal, several veterans stepped outside and completed their 3-round volleys, firing blank cartridges into the air three times. This practice stems from the 1600’s when soldiers would take breaks on battlefields to treat the injured and collect the dead. The collecting side would signal to their enemies that they were done by firing a three round volley. The practice has evolved to be used as a final goodbye to fallen military members. This was followed by Valle Band Director, Shane Verges playing “Taps”.
Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the hills,
from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well,
God is nigh.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy, Boy Scouts escorted the veterans from their pews. The student body formed an “Honor Walk” from the doors of the church to the doors of the cafeteria where a reception was held for the veterans and their guests.
Students cheered and applauded as the veterans walked by. Students also handed out homemade cards and pictures and also gave ‘high-fives’ to the veterans.