In addition to its two regular church services, there were some very special moments on Nov. 11 at Ireton (Iowa) Christian Reformed Church. The congregation’s youth group held a program to honor both veterans and currently serving military members, marking the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, the formal end to the First World War.
Sara Hulshof, a youth group sponsor, said the group put on the program—the first such event the church has hosted—because they wanted the opportunity to say thank you. Chris Van Beek, medical coordinator for Midwest Honor Flights, an organization that gives veterans the opportunity to visit war memorials in Washington, D.C., spoke at the event. She also interviewed two veterans who had gone on previous Honor Flights. Veteran Don Van Sloten, a member of Ireton CRC, spoke about how his flights were “a worthwhile and impacting experience.”
Also in the program were readings by some of the youth group members, including a responsive reading, “What is Veteran’s Day?” Singing, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and a prayer for the nation and its leaders were also part of the program.
At 11:00 a.m., Ireton CRC and other local churches rang their church bells to remember veterans who had died. It was an opportunity the congregation had requested of other churches. After the program, the church welcomed attendees to a potluck meal.
Hulshof said she hoped the program had an impact not only on the veterans, but also the youth group. “I’m hoping that our youth group and the kids who attended would want to be an Honor Flight Guardian someday to show their appreciation for the men and women who served our country. It’s just a small thank-you to our military and veterans,” she said.