A salute to veterans

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The Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce hosted past and present members of the armed forces Monday, Nov. 11 at a Veteran’s Day ceremony held at Madison High School. Veterans and members of the community gathered to hear music and stories to honor those who served in the military.

According to the Veteran’s Day memorial ceremony program,”We take time this day to honor all those who have served this country. By serving and sacrificing they have preserved not only our countries freedom, but many others as well.”

The crowd cheered as veterans shared stories of service. Verlan Louder, a 94 year-old World War ll army veteran, spoke about his time fighting Nazi forces.

Louder served in the 101st Airborne Division, also known as the “Screaming Eagles.” He is one of the few living veterans to have fought in D-day. His division parachuted behind enemy lines in Normandy to stop German tanks from giving aid to their forces on the beach.

A woman named Gisele Budge witnessed first hand the service veterans render. Budge, a native of France, lived through the Nazi occupation. She was seven-years-old when the occupation began. After the war, she immigrated to the United States where she used her freedom to stay active in her community and faith.

“I am so grateful to those who have served in the military,” Budge said. “I wouldn’t be here without them.”

Members of the Madison High School band played the anthems for each branch of the armed forces to show their support to the veterans. Students and community members with family ties to the military stood with the veterans as they were honored with these songs.

“This is a great event where we get to give back,” said Jason Evans, a board member of the Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

The first Veterans Day took place on Nov. 11, 1938 on the anniversary of the end of World War l. Every year, the Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce puts this event on at Madison High School to give the community a the opportunity to pay tribute to the veterans.

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