Veterans honored at program

Staff photos by Clay Schuldt The New Ulm Area Veterans Color Guard under the command of Les Wiltscheck advances the colors to the front of the gym for Cathedral High School’s Veteran’s Day program.

NEW ULM — Cathedral High School hosted this year’s Veteran’s Day Program.

Veterans from each branch of the arms services attended the event. Third grade students from St. Anthony’s Elementary stood out front in the cold to greet veterans as they arrived for the program.

This year, Mike Schaffer served as the guest speaker. Schaffer is a native of Fulda, and was elected Department Commander of the Minnesota American Legion at the organization in July 2017. He has been active in the American Legion for 44 years.

Schaffer served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, and was stationed in Alaska and in the Philippines.

Schaffer said thanking a Veteran may seem like a small gesture, but it can have a positive impact.

Mike Schaffer, former Department Commander of the American Legion of Minnesota, gave a Veteran’s Day speech to Cathedral High School. Schaffer said the best way to thank a veteran was to hire a veteran.

“Veterans have accomplished remarkable things throughout our history,” Schaffer said.

Schaffer also acknowledge this Veteran’s Day marked 100 years since the end of the First World War. He said the end the First Great War there was hope that there would never be a war like again, but sadly this was not the case.

Out of the First World War the American Legion was founded, followed by similar organization. It went to benefit the Veterans who came home physically wounded and those wounded mentally. A century later our country still struggles with supporting returning veterans.

Schaffer addressed the troubling statistic that U.S. Veterans have a higher likelihood of being homeless and unemployed.

“Thank a Veteran by hiring a Veteran,” Schaffer said.

He believed it was a smart business decision to employ Veterans because they dealt with extraordinary situation few private sector businesses will ever face.

Veteran’s Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, is celebrated every Nov. 11 to mark the end for WWI. The war formally ended at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11 month in 1918. That makes this the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.