For Veterans Day, Frank Beierlotzer organized a coalition of about 10 veterans, firefighters, police officers, and other supporters who visited four senior living facilities to pay tribute to the veterans there.
“This is just a way to say thanks to our senior veterans,” Beierlotzer said. “They are not necessarily shut in, but they don’t get out as much.”
Beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, a motorcade of motorcycles, automobiles, and emergency vehicles departed the staging area at Algus Packaging on Peace Road and visited veterans and their supporters at the Grand Victorian in Sycamore, and Bethany Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, Heritage Woods, and Barb City Manor in DeKalb.
At each facility, the volunteers greeted, shook hands, and thanked the veterans who had gathered in a common area with friends, family, and employees. Beierlotzer led recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance, Gene Vanden Bosch played the national anthem on the trumpet, and each resident veteran in attendance was recognized and thanked individually.
“I think it’s nice that they remembered us,” said Paul Landreth, 92, a resident of Barb City Manor, as tears welled in his eyes and he held a red rose given to him by the facility’s staff. He had not been part of a Veterans Day observance since he moved to the facility two years ago.
Landreth served in the Army as a chaplain’s assistant in the jungle near the Ledo Road in India during World War II.
Fellow Barb City Manor resident and World War II veteran Don Pinne served with the Army in Germany and France. He remembers his ship ride to Europe vividly.
“We sailed out of New York,” he said. “There were German subs out there in the ocean and we outran them.”