INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minnesota — Minnesota veterans of wars recent and long ago, many wearing formal military attire, attracted appreciation Monday in ceremonies across the state that marked Veterans Day.
Gov. Mark Dayton and other political dignitaries spoke at the official state ceremony in Inver Grove Heights. State leaders also appeared at events from Austin to St. Cloud. Events were planned at veterans' homes, museums, high schools and other places.
Minnesota has roughly 370,000 veterans Dayton said the honors to them must extend year-round.
"You deserve a grateful nation to remember and say, 'Thank you,'" the governor told dozens of veterans and their families at a community center gathering.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said the best recognition for veterans is to make sure their health care is provided for, they have employment opportunities and can receive mental health services.
At an afternoon event at the St. Cloud VA Health Care System, a junior high school band played a medley of the official songs of each branch of the U.S. military. Each veteran stood up as the song linked to their branch of the service.
It was a moment that touched Greg Barrow of St. Cloud, a U.S. Army veteran in attendance.
"All of us vets got a chance to stand up and be recognized," Barrow said.