Veterans Day is an annual occasion to honor the men and women who have bravely served our country in the Armed Forces. This November 11th marks the 99th year that our country has recognized Veteran’s Day, first celebrated in 1919 to mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. Veterans Day is an important holiday for Vista Prairie Communities. Our communities are home to many veterans, and many more have family members involved in the military.
At Vista Prairie at Copperleaf in Willmar, Minnesota, Veterans are honored all year round, not just on Veterans Day. Thanks to the initiative of one Copperleaf resident, Richard “Dick” Rogers, there is a Veterans Wall hanging in both Assisted Living and Memory Care.
Richard got the idea from an Assisted Living community he toured in Arizona before deciding to settle in Minnesota. When he arrived at Copperleaf, he brought the idea to management and asked to explore whether something similar could be done at Copperleaf.
“Richard was so sincere and passionate in his desire to create a Veterans Wall,” said Sally Kerfeld, Executive Director at Copperleaf. “It was an easy and rewarding project to take on.”
The Veterans Wall features a photo of each resident who served in the military, hung in a personalized frame with the branch of military, years served, and rank. The veteran can choose whether they want to display a current photo or their military photo.
“Veterans Day is important to the Copperleaf community, not only as an opportunity to honor the men and women who live here who served our country, but also to honor all veterans who served,” said Sally. “Several of our residents have children or grandchildren who are serving or have served in the military. We will be taking our veterans and their spouses to attend the community meal honoring veterans at the local VFW.”
The Veterans Wall attracts a lot of positive attention from visitors and sparks conversation, whether the visitor is a veteran themselves or not.
“The photographs on the wall tell visitors that Copperleaf respects veterans,” said Richard. “We have veterans who live here and we would like to thank them for being in the military.”
Contact your Activity Coordinator to find out what your community is doing to celebrate Veterans Day!