The Friday Memorial Library's annual Veteran's Roundtable will be held at the New Richmond Civic Center at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9. This year's panelists will include VFW Post 10818 members Ron Ramos and Russ Donaghue; American Legion Butler-Harmon Post 80 member Chuck Mehls; and Vietnam Veterans of America member Sam King along with moderator Tom Lindfors of the New Richmond News.
"The library continues to put on the round table because even though it is not one of our biggest attended events, because the feedback from both the members of the panel and the audience has been that the experience is positive and important," said Friday Memorial Library Director Kimberly Hennings. "We are changing to an evening event this year in an effort to draw a different audience and provide an opportunity for those who maybe weren't able to attend in previous years.
"This event really is for all ages; we've had children and adults come to hear the stories. People are really moved by this event and walk away awestruck and grateful for these courageous individuals."
The event will take place in Conference Room #2 in the lower level of the Civic Center (156 E. First St.), which is a bigger room than in the past in order to better accommodate the community.
"We ask our veterans to share memories of their time in the service at home or abroad," said assistant librarian Britta Kingwill. "We also ask about life after the service; career pursuits, education pursuits and how time in the service has played a role in their post-military life. We are so fortunate to hear the stories they have to tell."
People who have attended the event in the past have enjoyed hearing the many different stories supplied by the panelists.
"For many people who have known or loved veterans, after they pass away, those stories are gone. Just the other day, my Dad said to me 'I wish I would've listened more to my Dad's stories about his time in the service,'" Hennings said. "I think these conversations are important to have, to understand what life was like, how we can learn from it, and what we can do to support those individuals who have served."
For those not sure what to expect from the roundtable, Kingwill said the event is different than other events being held to honor veterans that week.
"For those interested in the Middle School Veterans Day Program the following day, our event is structured a little differently. The roundtable gives our service members a chance to speak to their experiences that are more personal and emotional," Kingwill said. "We would love for people to attend both events to honor our veterans."