Prior to the arrival of the Traveling Tribute Wednesday, St. Francis Senior Ministries hosted a veterans fair and pinning ceremony in Elizabeth Schaefer Auditorium. Exhibits on services for veterans, health screenings and a display of memorabilia were set up around the gathering space. The tables were adorned with American flags and red, white and blue floral bouquets.
Stein Hospice conducted a pinning ceremony to honor active members and veterans of all branches of the military. A colorguard of Tiffin Amvets members filed in to begin the event.
Julie Yeager, director of veterans services for Stein Hospice, read the poem, "It is the Veteran." She and Stein volunteers distributed pins shaped like Ohio to the veterans in attendance while a vocalist sang a medley of military anthems.
PHOTO BY MARYANN KROMER
U.S. Army veteran Albert Diringer examines the pin he received during the ceremony Wednesday.
Richard Scheiber, who lives on the campus, came to the celebration in his Navy uniform.
St. Francis resident and World War II veteran Paul Huss asked Yeager for the microphone to offer a comment. Huss said he did not receive a warm welcome upon his return from military service.
He said the people who deserve the most thanks are not those who survived.
"It's the ones that give up their lives and are not here," Huss said.
After the ceremony, refreshments were served to about 150 people in attendance.