Veterans honored

American Legion Post 440 Commander Rodger Croft and Indiana Circuit Court Judge Michael Kanne gathered to honor those who have died in the armed forces.Photo by Zachary Van Vuren

     Air Force veteran and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Michael Kanne spoke at 11 a.m. to the visitors at the American Legion Post 440 in DeMotte on Veterans Day, Friday.  

Kanne, a Rensselaer native, served in active duty for the Air Force from 1962 to 1965. 

Kanne recently met with a fellow veteran he served with after receiving a message from him.  The unnamed friend and Kanne spent some time in Chicago reminiscing and catching up.

“It seemed as if 45 days have passed,” Kanne stated. “Not 45 years.”

From trial court lawyer Kannes was appointed to the Court of Appeals 7th Circuit by Ronald Reagan in 1987 after serving in both the 30th Judicial Circuit of Indiana and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.

Kanne gave a history of Veteran’s Day so the day can be celebrated correctly.  Originally, Veteran’s Day was known by a different name, Armistice Day.  Armistice Day was to honor those that died in World War 1. Armistice Day was set on Nov. 11 and not the end of World War 1 because fighting stopped seven months earlier on Nov. 11 1918, according to Kanne.

Armistice Day was made a legal holiday in 1938 by an act of Congress, Kanne said.  Veteran’s Day didn’t become what it is today until 1954 when the 88th Congress struck out armistice and put in veteran, said Kanne.

    The week of Nov. 11 is National Veteran Awareness Week and serves the purpose of education primary and secondary school-age children about fallen service members, Kanne said.

    Kanne is displeased at the current level of military awareness.

    “When news commentators refer to all in the armed forces as soldiers,” Kanne said. “It represents a profound lack of knowledge.”

Rather than history, Kanne includes part of the present as he recites most of President Barack Obama’s 2011 Veteran’s Day proclamation. 

“Today, our Nation comes together to honor our veterans and commemorate the legacy of profound service and sacrifice they have upheld in pursuit of a more perfect Union,” Kanne recites.  “Through their steadfast defense of America’s ideals, our service members have ensured our country still stands strong, our found principles still shine, and nations around the world know the blessing of freedom.”

The Veteran’s day ceremony concluded with the laying of a wreath for the fallen, the retiring of the colors by the Post 440’s color guard, and Covenant Christian High School’s band playing Taps.

“It was awesome,” retired Army veteran of 23 years Norman Hemphill commented. “I just enjoy how they retired the colors, Taps, and how they respect for all veterans living and non.”