Monona will host Clayton County Vets Day celebration Nov. 10

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Monona will host a county-wide Veterans Day celebration on Saturday, Nov. 10, resurrecting a unique area tradition.

“There was always a county-wide event, but it kind of went by the wayside,” explained Rick Blietz, with Monona AmVets Post 27, which is co-sponsoring the celebration with the Northeast Iowa Vietnam Veterans Association.

“For many years, Clayton County was the only county in the state that celebrated Veterans Day as a county,” added Ed Blume, president of the Northeast Iowa Vietnam Veterans Association. “We thought it was a tradition that shouldn’t be let go.”

The event will begin at 11 a.m., with a parade. The route will line up on Chestnut Street, between St. Paul Lutheran Church and the Monona City Park. The parade will travel west to Main Street, then north on Main Street to Monona City Hall/Monona Community Center.

There, said Blietz, a wreath will be laid. Taps and a gun salute will also be performed.

Veterans and other attendees are then welcome to head into the community center for a meal and Veterans Day program, featuring special speaker Steve Schultz, a McGregor native who is a commander in the U.S. Navy. Blume said other program highlights will include a Quilts of Valor presentation and raffles.

All veterans are invited to participate in the parade and program, Blietz stressed.

“You don’t have to belong to a group or post,” he noted. “You can be in uniform or not.”

“Veterans are veterans,” Blume remarked. “This will be like a welcome home for Vietnam vets, but all are celebrated.”

A trailer will be available for those who are unable to march in the parade.

Blume said he hopes people will line the parade route.

“We’d like to see as many people out there as possible,” he shared. “We’ve all got a lot going on, but this is important. So come out and listen and join in.”

After this year, Blume said the celebration will hopefully move from town to town, throughout Clayton County.

“That’s the way it was traditionally done,” he added.

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