Community gathers to honor veterans in Rochester

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(ABC 6 News) – All across our viewing area, communities came together to thank those who have served.

Friday morning, nearly 200 people gathered for a free breakfast and program at the Rochester International Event center.

The event was free to the public, put on by the Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial and Powers Ventures.

The breakfast tradition has been going on for more than 20 years, bringing together people from around the state and country.

“it is so heartwarming to see all these veterans here together, I’m told there’s an event some people from Nebraska here. It’s just a nice way for everyone to realize what the price of freedom is and what these ladies and men over the years have done, there’s even a couple of World War Two Veterans here,” said U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran Terry Throndson.

Breakfast was served by volunteers including student council members from Byron middle school.

The meal was followed by an hour-long program featuring performances from local singer Brad Boice and remarks from state senator David Senjem.

“Thank you for your service, thank you for your sacrifice, thank you for giving us the great country that we have. Thank you very much,” Sen. Senjem said during the program.

Local veterans shared with ABC 6 News that this breakfast is one of their favorite Veteran’s day traditions in Rochester, saying “the best way to spend Veteran’s Day is with their fellow comrades.”

“We’ve all felt the same. Regardless of branch, we all know what it’s like to go away from home for the first time… to be scared for the first time. We all shared it. Anybody who’s put on the uniform knows exactly what I’m talking about. And it’s humbling to be around this many veterans. And I don’t know a lot of them, but I know them well,” U.S. Marine corps Vietnam veteran Jim Crawley said.

Veterans hope this tradition continues for the years to come and are thankful to all the volunteers who help put it together.