For some, Veterans Day means more than a day off work or school.
“I wrapped up his body on the battlefield and brought him home,” Ray Geffre said.
To Vietnam veteran Geffre, it’s a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice his friends paid for freedom. He points to the names inscribed at the All Veterans Memorial on Bismarck’s Capitol grounds.
“These four people I lost in Vietnam in 1968, ’69.”
Geffre is Chaplain in the North Dakota Honor Guard. He spent nearly 40 years in the Army, served in Vietnam and was decorated with a bronze star.
“I enjoyed serving my country for freedom and democracy,” Geffre said.
Geffre, alongside dozens of others who served, took part in the Veterans Day Ceremony outside the Capitol.
“These people gave their lives for their freedom and their country’s democracy, and they can remind them of that sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice that they made,” Geffre said.
The 15 minute program began with a prayer.
“Lord, we are ever mindful of the veterans who served since the beginning of this country,” Reverend Dale Nabben said. “We thank you for their service. We especially thank you for their families.”
The ceremony ended at 11 a.m. with the ringing of a bell 11 times — that’s to honor the armistice signing that ended the First World War, which happened in 1918 on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
“Thank a veteran today, and not just today, but thank a veteran every day for their service,” American Legion Post Commander Janette Fetch said.