Monday, Iowans began their observance of Veterans Day with a ceremony at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Van Meter.
“Many of our departed veterans and family members are buried here, in fact, the count as of right now is someplace around 1,770 veterans and their family members are buried here,” says retired Col. Robert King.
The federally funded Iowa Veterans Cemetery has been operating since July of 2008. Gov. Terry Branstad asked retired colonel Robert King to run it and he was appointed as the head of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs last spring.
Some states don’t recognize November 11th as Veterans Day. Gov. Branstad says Iowa was actually one of the first states to change our state holiday back to November 11th, instead of just being a Monday, and he was the one to sign that into law.
The governor is a veteran as well. He served in the 503rd Military Police Battalion in Fort Bragg.
Speaking at the remembrance ceremony, he says Americans owe everything to our veterans.
“Our nation owes a great debt to our veterans. Their service throughout our nation’s history has made such an important contribution, and that’s why we enjoy the freedom and the liberties we have as Americans,” says Branstad.
There are more events planned across the state Monday to honor veterans and active members of the military. You can find a list here.