Veterans Day 2016 was special for some 53 Vietnam era veterans attending the annual Nov. 11 program at the Riverside High School Gym in Cedar Rapids.
Those veterans received some overdue recognition, and each received a 50-year commemorative pin from the Department of Defense.
The presentations were part of a nearly two-hour ceremony that included speeches and tributes to all American veterans.
A portion of the program was also devoted to the memory of two area veterans, PFC Christopher Pfeifer of Spalding and First Lieutenant Edward D. Iwan, who died in the War on Terror.
First Lt. Edward D. Iwan, U.S. Army, a native of Albion, was killed in combat in Fallujah, Iraq, on Nov. 12, 2004.
PFC Christopher F. Pfeifer, U.S. Army, a native of Spalding, died of wounds sustained in combat in Afghanistan on Sept. 25, 2007.
Keynote speaker was First Sgt. Shane Nordhues of Greeley, who presented the history of Veteran’s Day.
Nordhues and former Army Captain Kallen Ryan assisted Bev. Schuele, representing Betsy Hager Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, in presenting the awards to Vietnam era veterans and in the tribute to fallen service members.
Soloist Kay Swerczek presented several patriotic solos. The Riverside Junior-Senior High Band played patriotic music, and trumpeter Tyler Zentner closed the program with Taps. Riverside elementary students also sang patriotic songs.
Complete list of the Vietnam veterans honored at Cedar Rapids in the Nov. 16 Albion News Print and E-Editions.