Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Day event returns to in-person celebration

Veterans Day is a time to honor and thank all those who have served in the U.S. military.

Friday, the State Department of Veterans Affairs held its celebration in person for the first time since 2019.

Everyone seemed happy to be back together in the same room after a two-year hiatus, and there was a big turnout.

About 200 people showed up for the program and the free breakfast beforehand.

Gov. Tim Walz and other elected officials were also there to give thanks to veterans, of which about 300,000 call Minnesota home.

Veterans Day began in 1919 as the first anniversary of the end of World War I, and while the day is all about honoring and celebrating veterans, Minnesota veterans say it’s also a reminder there’s still a lot of work to be done to protect veterans such as housing, medical benefits and suicide prevention.

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“We want to make sure that the veterans keep getting the benefits they deserve and if there’s nobody there lobbying the legislatures, sometimes it’s the low-lying fruit, hanging fruit, and the budget people kind of cut that first (out of) things they want to do on the budget. So, we’re there to make sure the veterans’ budgets are protected, we’re looking for new members to keep that fight going,” said Mick Aguirre, Chair of the Commanders’ Task Force.

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