Saratoga Grove Veterans honored in special chapel and men’s group meeting

DOWNER’S GROVE, Ill.—Saratoga Grove Chaplain Heino Blaauw led a warm chapel Thursday honoring veterans of Saratoga Grove and commemorating Veteran’s Day.

a group of senior citizens gather around a man and woman leading singing

A group of Saratoga Grove residents gather for a special Veteran’s Day chapel.

Throughout the service, which was attended by about 40 residents, the group sang patriotic hymns. Then those who could stood for the Pledge of Allegiance.

One of the most striking moments came when Heino read the list of Saratoga Grove residents who were Veterans. A variety of veterans in attendance were acknowledged, including one woman who had been a medical volunteer at a VA hospital, and who received the Presidential Pin of Honor.

The group joined in a special Veteran’s Day prayer, which included these words:

An elderly man poses in a military hat with many pins

“Lord, you have inspired many of best and brightest to proudly serve our beloved country. We gather today to remember our military personnel. We acknowledge that their service enables us to walk as free men and women in this land. Lord, today we seek to honor your sons and daughters who have served or who are serving our country.” 

Heino then shared a passage from Proverbs and discussed what true love and sacrifice means.

At the men’s group meeting after chapel, several of the men from Saratoga Grove and Providence Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Downer’s Grove came and shared stories of their military service.

Andy Medema showed off his military hat, with pins earned for service during World War II and his time with the American Legion. Frank DeVita shared about his work as a medic in England, France, Belgium, Norway, “but not Germany!” he said. Several other men shared their experiences serving in World War II and the Korean War.

Bill Bolt had a particularly harrowing tale about his time in World War II. After being drafted and undergoing extensive training, he served in a unit in Iceland, then later went to England. He landed in Normandy on the 5th day after D-Day and saw the carnage of the battle. He received a purple heart for his service.

A group of elderly men gather around a table and eat doughnuts and discuss the military

We are so proud of our veterans. Thank you for your service!