The city of Idaho Falls held its official Veterans Day event Friday, commemorating recent Idaho veterans and the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
The event was held at the War Veterans Memorial along the Snake River, which was renovated earlier this week to prepare for the event. Plaques honoring soldiers from Idaho Falls who had served in World War I had been cleaned or installed on the walls and a new flagpole was erected to be used for the first time during the ceremony.
Mayor Rebecca Casper and local veteran Bob Skinner spoke at the ceremony to honor the veterans in attendance and talked about the importance of the holiday for remembering those who had served. Skinner also accepted a donation of $3,600 from the Idaho Falls Exchange Club and its Field of Honor event in May on behalf of the city’s Military Affairs Committee.
“We will use this money to help veterans on a daily basis. One hundred percent of this money will go to our veterans,” Skinner said.
Historian and former state Rep. Linden Bateman also spoke at the event to share stories about World War I veterans. He discussed Thomas Neibaur, the first member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the first Idahoan to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. Bateman also pointed out that there were no longer any living Americans who had fought in the war.
“Since that time it’s become kind of a forgotten war. But we must not forget, we must remember those who served,” Bateman said.
After the speeches, the Idaho Falls Fire Department Pipes and Drums performed “Amazing Grace” and members of American Legion Post 56 performed a rifle salute. The event ended with a burst of red and white fireworks against the blue sky.
Veteran’s Day falls on Sunday. The American Legion is hosting a breakfast event that day at the Veterans Memorial Building and ringing bells at the war memorial at 11:11 a.m. on Nov. 11, exactly a century after the armistice that ended World War I.