Gerri Sizemore was a bit upset. Sizemore, a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, realized last night that there was not going to be a Veterans Day ceremony at Fountain Square this year.

Gerri Sizemore, left, with other members of the VFW Auxiliary.

So Sizemore called a few of her Auxiliary friends, and they put together a small, socially distanced observance this morning. Some people heard about it and showed up. Others who were walking by stopped to watch.

There were prayers, comments from veterans who were on hand, and just a sense of appreciation for those, like Sizemore’s husband, who have served our nation.

While Veterans Day honors all who were in the military, not, like Memorial Day, just those who died, a memorial wreath was placed at the foot of the flagpole to say “thank you” to veterans who have passed away.

Participants and members of the crowd wore masks, and were careful not to stand too close to each other. One crowd member, a Vietnam veteran, said how appreciative he was to see such a ceremony held safely during the pandemic. He noted that twice as many Americans have died from COVID-19 than were killed in Vietnam.

Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day, in honor of the end of World War I on Nov. 11, 1918.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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