During a special ceremony Tuesday evening at the Palmer Twp. Hall, the Clear Lake American Legion Post 354 recognized three World War II Veterans for their honor, courage and sacrifice.
Legion Commander Bruce Wipper called the meeting to order and presided over the opening ceremonies before Adjutant Bud Stimmler provided a history of the Post, which was chartered in 1936 by a group of WWI Veterans.
Stimmler honored that group of locals and also paid homage to the many members who kept the local Legion going ever since, even during lean times.
Stimmler then introduced Nick Johnson, who was on hand to present Quilts of Honor to the three WWII Veterans in attendance: Cliff Forner, Ken Doering and Donald Bloomer.
Johnson explained a bit about the Quilts of Honor organization and told the WWII heroes that “we haven’t forgotten about you.”
According to Johnson, the quilts are awarded to Veterans as a way to show gratitude, and it was his honor to present the handmade masterpieces as a way to provide comfort, love and healing.
Each quilt is made by a different group of artisans and bears the name of the recipient, as well as the presentation date.
After the ceremony, the Legion members in attendance stood and saluted their fellow Veterans. Wipper then declared the meeting adjourned and invited the nearly 100 people in attendance to share in “cookies and talk,” as each man surely had unique stories to share.
Those in attendance included many Veterans, friends and family members of the three honorees.
The Clear Lake American Legion has an active membership and even though it doesn’t have charitable gambling income sources, last month it donated $4,000 to Veterans causes at the St. Cloud VA. It funds those donations through various fundraisers and has been able to provide this level of funding three years in a row.
According to information made public at the meeting, Post 354 has one of the best membership recognitions in its district. Stimmler noted that the Legion has many Vietnam era Veterans currently and is always looking for more members, especially those who served in the Gulf War or more recently.