Americans who served in the military are the “the lifeblood of democracy” an audience was told Friday during the annual Veterans Day ceremony in the chapel at the Tomah Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Guest speaker Chief Master Sgt. Michael J. Boyko, vehicle maintenance supervisor of Volk Field, said “no one day of tribute can fully honor veterans of the country’s armed forces.”

“They offered life’s most vital years in service of their country,” Boyko said. “Millions of Americans have served liberty’s cause ... each generation did its part.”

The Challenge Academy of Fort McCoy introduced the colors, Army veteran Joseph Lamb sang “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” Army veteran Andre Berry sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” and the Tomah VFW Post 1382 rifle squad concluded the ceremony with a rifle salute and playing of “Taps.”

The ceremony featured the Hall of Heroes induction. The inductees this year are Alice A. Holstein of La Crosse and Larry R. Wargowsky of Necedah.

Tomah VA Medical Center Director Mario DeSanctis described veterans as “protectors and defenders ... peacemakers and peacekeepers.” He said the services provided at the VA “reinforce the covenant between the nation and its veterans.”

He said veterans “remind us of our past ... and inspire us to give more.”

“We reflect on our way of life and pay tribute to those who make that possible ... veterans are the lifeblood of our country.”

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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