On Friday, Symphony Of Chesterton and the Visiting Nurses Association, or VNA, partnered together for a Veterans Day celebration. The American Legion Post 170 of Chesterton and Post 94 of Valparaiso also helped in making the Veterans Day Tribute possible. The presentation started off by giving thanks and honoring those who have served, who are serving, and to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Cindy Kuiper, Life Enrichment Director at Symphony of Chesterton, said she wanted to hold an uplifting presentation to honor Symphony’s residents that have put their lives on the line for their country.
“The Veterans Day Tribute honors what [veterans] have done for our country and what they have done for us all. We have about 22 veterans that have served from World War II to the present day,” said Kuiper. “I hope hearts are filled with a sense of pride with their time and dedication to their country. We want to let them know how grateful we are and how much they mean to us.”
Laura DeGraff, Director of Business Development for the Visiting Nurses Association of Northwest Indiana, said the Veterans Day Tribute was a great way to collaborate with Symphony of Chesterton.
“We work closely with the Symphony and we thought it would be nice to be a part of their veterans program, so we jumped at the chance,” said DeGraff. “We are hoping veterans feel valued because of the service they have done for our country. We just want to really honor them and hope they walk away with a sense of pride for what they have done.”
Valerie Tanke, who attended the presentation, was there to honor her father, Albert Terzes.
“We were called by the Symphony that our dad was receiving a plaque. My dad passed away almost a year ago, and it’s just nice to be here to honor him,” said Tanke.
The plaque reads “Freedom is Not Free,” in honor of Albert Terzes, who served in World War II.
Madeline Gee, Specialist in the United States National Guard, works at Symphony and says she is a firm believer in honoring veterans all year round.
“Today honors people who have been forgotten,” said Gee. “Veterans pave the way for us to be safe. Respect people in uniform and respect the elderly. You never know, they might have served in the past. Today is all about support.”
John Baraile, a veteran and attendee of the tribute, says it’s important to pay respects to those who lost their lives.
“Today reconnects everybody and we go back to thinking about what we went through,” said Baraile. “Some people didn’t make it and we should honor them. We were the lucky ones, paying tribute is what it’s all about.”
Symphony of Chesterton and the Visiting Nurses Association strive to honor their veterans every year. They want the friends and families of those who have lost their lives in battle to share the American pride that so many hold dear to their hearts, and to bring the community and local veterans together to thank them for their service.
As Baraile said: “As a vet, there’s a brotherhood that never goes away and it’s just good to be together again.”
For more information on Symphony of Chesterton, please visit http://www.symphonyofchesterton.com/
For more information on the VNA, please visit http://www.vnaportercounty.org/
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