Veterans Day gives us
a day to pause and show appreciation for the men and women who have made
personal sacrifices to serve our nation.
Here in Kokomo,
Indiana, we don’t think one day is good enough. So, we’re taking 10.
And those 10 days — set
for Nov. 5-14 in 2016 — are called Military Appreciation Days. Since 2009, it’s
an annual celebration that honors all active military personnel and veterans.
Because citizens in
Kokomo and Howard County have a long-standing tradition of service in the Armed
Forces, the community wanted to do more to honor the sacrifices made by so
many. That first year, 38 businesses were involved, with each giving veterans
free or discounted services.
ranging from chiropractic services to free lawnmower blade sharpening to
uniform cleaning to car washes to movie rentals to a number of food discounts were
available to veterans in Kokomo and Howard County.
In 2012, the Military
Foundation of Howard County was created with the mission to help veterans in
any way possible. The foundation now spearheads the event, which grows every
2016, there are 90 offerings being made available to veterans. Click here to see a complete list of offerings.
Each year Military
Appreciation Days begins with an opening ceremony during which the national
anthem is played and proclamations are read. This year, it will be held at 10
a.m. Nov. 7 at City Hall. It includes recognition of the year’s honorary chairs
— for 2016, it’s Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight, Howard County Commissioner
President Paul Wyman and the Howard County Vietnam Veterans.
Organizers say they
hope the annual event shows military personnel and veterans that their service
has not gone unnoticed. They want citizens to understand that the sacrifices
made to ensure the continuation of the freedoms we enjoy are a gift that can
never be reciprocated in full.
It’s for those reasons
that the event is held. It is only right that we recognize, honor and celebrate
the sacrifice, courage and heroism of our community’s service members, past and
present, and their families.