Just in time for Veterans Day, a group of area veterans were honored for their service as receipients of this year's Quilts of Valor.
A total of 16 veterans were honored Saturday, with eight of the veterans or their representatives in attendance for a presentation of Quilts of Valor. The annual ceremony had to be handled a little differently this year due to the coronavirus. Face masks, social distancing and hand sanitizer set the scene at First Baptist Church for the patriotic tribute to Moniteau County veterans.
Veterans who were honored included the following:
Harold Hohenfeldt, whose quilt was presented to his family Oct. 30 at his funeral. Hohenfeldt served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War.
Harold Howard served in the U. S. Army from 1962-1964 and received his quilt Nov. 3 in the parking lot of the California Nutrition Center.
Receiving their quilts in person were Don Jungmeyer, Calvin Schlup, Doug Hill, Glen Bayne, Don Bolin and Dr. Teri Deffenbaugh. Ronald Weaver's wife, Ruth, accepted a quilt on his behalf, and Karen Wood accepted the quilt for Korean war veteran Clyde "Gail" Dernand. Other veterans honored who could not attend were Bill Bess, Juan Diaz, Vencil Hees, Dennis Gray, Dave Wilde and Cody Baumert, who served in Afghanistan.
Veterans were also invited to speak about their service. Bolin, a Vietnam veteran, spoke of his time as a training specialist recognizing the veterans who served in Vietnam. Deffenbaugh told the group of her assignment to Iraq and about how when she reported for duty, they were surprised she was a woman.
The ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a reading from America's White Table to honor veterans who are no longer living and especially those who lost their lives defending America's freedoms.
A musical tribute to the veterans was led by the talented Baysinger family. Danny Baysinger gave an emotional performance of the song "An Honor To Serve," bringing tears to many eyes.
The organizers of this annual presentation, called the Bookworm Quilters, meet at the library every Tuesday. Anyone interested in making a quilt or wishing to nominate a veteran can drop by the library anytime between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays. There is never a charge to the veteran or the person making the nomination. The quilters provide the materials for the quilt and appreciate any donations, and want to take this opportunity to thank all veterans for their service.