WARRENSBURG — After a week full of events celebrating the various branches of the U.S. military and the veterans who served in them, the Missouri Veterans Home — Warrensburg hosted a presentation celebrating the 100th anniversary of Veterans Day on Monday, Nov. 11.

The event started with the Pledge of Allegiance presented by Veterans Assistance League Secretary-Treasurer Ross Chambers.

Makaela Chugg, a junior at Crest Ridge High School, sang the National Anthem.

Jeremy Ämick was the keynote speaker.

Latisha Koetting, Missouri Veterans Home supervisor of Volunteer Services, introduced Ämick to the crowd, explaining why he was the ideal candidate to speak on behalf of the 100-year celebration of Veteran’s Day.

“We’re both those people that when we get next to veterans, our ears turn on, we become locked and in sync and we just get lost in the history that you have to share with us,” Koetting said.

Ämick is a volunteer public affairs officer and military historian with the Silver Star Families of America where he writes articles for Missouri newspapers and websites regarding the experiences of military veterans.

He also spent 11 years in the Missouri National Guard, serving nine years on active duty.

Over the course of his career, he has written more than 600 published articles and 10 military history books.

“When reflecting on the military stories I have written and the personal interviews I have conducted with veterans from virtually every era, I don’t know if I can pinpoint my most favorite or most inspirational moment,” Ämick said during his presentation. “Each veteran I have interviewed has a story or personal experience that often isn’t duplicated.”

During his speech, Ämick expressed that he wanted to refrain from the solemn subject matter that is typically recounted during events such as these.

“I have had the privilege of attending many veterans events throughout the years,” Amick said. “All too often I hear the recitation of statistics and depressing stories of service meant to inspire an appreciation of the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf by those who have worn the uniforms of our nation’s armed forces. Although there is a time and place for such solemn speeches, I have, for today, chosen a different path that will afford us a more mirthful subject.”

Ämick instead decided to use his speech to tell stories that covers three of his favorite subjects with stories related to Missouri, WWII and baseball.

This included stories regarding baseball players such as Stan Musial, Buck O’Neil and Yogi Berra during their time serving in the U.S. military.

Following Ämick’s presentation, several short video clips were presented, showcasing some of the highlights from the Branch of Service Week events.

A slide show presentation was then given, showing a number of events that Missouri Veterans Home — Warrensburg was involved in during the past year.

A medley of military service songs were then played, allowing veterans the chance to stand as they played the song representing the branch of the military they served in.

Missouri Veterans Home Administrator Eric Endsley gave the opening and closing remarks.

A presentation and retiring of the colors was also planned to take place, performed by the Knob Noster High School JROTC.

However, they were unable to attend the event due to the dangerous road conditions caused by winter weather Monday morning.

Staff Writer Dustin Steinhoff can be reached by emailing dustin.steinhoff@dsjnow.com or by calling (660) 747-8123.

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