Elizabeth Carville photo Belvidere Republican
The VFW Honor Guard presents a 21-gun salute during the Veterans Day ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 11.

By Anne Eickstadt


“Veterans’ Day 2020 was much different this year due to concerns of the COVID-19 virus and fear of infection,” said Robert Ryder, superintendent, Veterans’ Assistance Commission of Boone County. “All across the state-line area ceremonies were limited or cancelled due to virus concerns, but local veterans here in Belvidere thought it was extremely important to hold some kind of ceremony honoring all veteran, so a brief ceremony was held Veterans Day at the Belvidere VFW post parking lot at 10 a.m. on a beautiful but cold, sunny morning.”

“We really thought it was important that we have some kind of ceremony honoring local veterans as well all veterans nationally,” said Greg Kelm, Belvidere VFW post commander and a Vietnam veteran. “This was especially important since we couldn’t have our parade for Memorial Day this year due to the virus … I was very happy that so many people showed up when we didn’t even advertise the ceremony since we wanted to limit attendance due to COVID-19 concerns.”

“Let us all take a moment to offer prayers of thanks and eternal gratitude to veterans and their families for the sacrifices they have made to protect and ensure our freedoms,” said Mayor Mike Chamberlain. “It is a debt that cannot ever be fully repaid. Thank you and God bless you all. God bless America.”

About 40 people attended the 15-minute ceremony that included a 21-gun salute by the Belvidere VFW post honor guard and a bugler playing taps. Gold Star Sister Anne Castro committed a memorial wreath to the Kishwaukee River at the Appleton Bridge in memory of her brother, and small flags were planted by the gravesites of veterans as well.

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