Generations of servicemen and women honor veterans of World War I on 100th anniversary

It's been 100 years since peace fell over battlefields in Northern France, marking the end of what was known as the “Great War.”

In Minnesota, thousands participated in ceremonies around the state to honor those that fought.

This year Veterans Day falls on the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I, a day that veterans say should always come with a moment of silence for those soldiers that should never be forgotten.

As the bell of peace rings in these ceremonies, America remembers and honors all those that fought for freedom 100 years ago.

“It sends shivers up your spine,” said William Vandenbergh, an Army veteran.

As the bell tolled 21 times Sunday, Vandenbergh saluted his son.

“It’s very humbling,” he said. “After 28 years in the military to retire and have someone else grab the guidon, if you will.”

Freshman Cadet Luke Vandenbergh stood as a member of the Army ROTC to honor those that fought in World War I, to serve his country and to follow in his father’s footsteps.

“A lot of people looked up to him, and I was one of those people,” Luke Vandenbergh said. “When I was younger I really wanted to be like my father. One of the best ways to do that was to join the Army.”

His goal is to continue to fight for our freedom as veterans like his father did, as those that fought in World War I did, and as all that fight today do.

It may have been 100 years ago and the soldiers of the First World War may have passed, but the service, the honor and the commitment to country instilled in them endures.  

There were 1,094 World War I veterans from Minnesota who died in combat. Their names were all read at Sunday’s ceremonies.