73rd Annual Veterans Day Dinner
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Cliffbreakers 700 West Riverside Blvd Rockford IL
The Veterans Day dinner has been a tradition in Rockford for over 70 years. It has brought together for one evening people from the government sector, people from the private sector and veterans from all walks of life to honor the Veterans in our community.
This year’s keynote speaker will be Colonel (retired) John A. P. Gessner. Colonel Gessner, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, retired in 2010 from the U.S. Army following 32 years of service (1978-2010). He is a veteran of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (2002-2003). His military awards include the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals awarded for service in Afghanistan and Kuwait/Iraq, four Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Commendation Medals and the Corps of Engineers Silver de Fleury Medal.
On June 1, 1954, November 11th was designated as Veterans Day to all who served, past, present and future. Seventy-six years ago on August 13, 1937, a group of men in Rockford known as the Ex-Servicemen's Organization founded the Veterans Day Banquet hosting the first dinner on Armistice Day, November 11, 1938 at the Bethesda Covenant Church. The keynote speaker was Charles G. Seidel. In 1939 a second Armistice Day Banquet was held at First Lutheran Church, with Dr. J. Oliver Buswell, President of Wheaton College as keynote speaker.
In 1939, the organizations name was changed from "Post of Ex-Service Men" to a "Post of War Service Men." In 1944 Daniel Post was accepted into the American Legion and became Post #864. The American Legion Daniel Post #864 sponsored the banquet until 1998 when the Winnebago County Veterans Association took the responsibility to preserve continuity of the banquets honoring all veterans. The banquet has been held each year to honor veterans who served in the military of our country.
Social hour and cocktails will begin at 6:00 pm and dinner will be served at 7:00 pm. The Veterans Day Program will follow dinner. This year we will be offering a single entree featuring Turkey. Tickets are available at a cost of $25. For tickets contact Scott Lewandowski at (815) 969-1999.
Scott Lewandowski 815.969.1999