Illinois Veterans Home to host Veterans Day ceremony Sunday morning

Posted: Nov. 9, 2012 9:45 am Updated: Nov. 30, 2012 10:15 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

The Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy has invited the community to a Veterans Day celebration at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Rick Gengenbacher, public affairs officer at the Illinois Veterans Home, said Veterans Day allows Americans to honors those who served their country, and he expects the community to pack the event. The home intends to set up 200 chairs as well as provide room for wheelchairs. The event will be televised in-house for veterans unable to attend.

"Veterans Day is an important day, and we should never forget the sacrifices made by so many men and women," Gengenbacher said.

Gengenbacher hopes the community will come to recognize the area's veterans. He said Veterans Day provides a yearly opportunity to honor those who have served their country.

"It's something as a country we should never forget," Gengenbacher said.

Col. Annita Best will address the crowd. She is a public affairs officer in the USMC Reserves. She previously served as the director's reserve counterpart for Marine Forces Pacific, a public affairs officer for HQMC, Marine Corps Installations East, Marine Forces Europe and MCAS Cherry Point. She was activated several times for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. She joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1986 and served on active duty for four years as an aviation supply officer and a Protocol Officer for the 2nd MAW at Cherry Point before transferring into the reserves.

Lodita Fox, sister of Cpl. Dewey Eugene Wright, who was killed during the Korean War, will lay a wreath to honor all veterans. She will be accompanied by Miss Illinois Megan Ervin.

The Quincy Notre Dame High School band and concert chorale will provide musical selections.

At 11 a.m. the group will participate in a moment of silence.

Before the event, the Illinois Veterans Home will publicly thank the Tri-State Lugnuts club for its $5,600 donation. The club generated the contribution from this year's Endless Summer Car Show. The club has donated nearly $75,000 to the Illinois Veterans Home in the past 13 years.