David Van Landschoot, U.S. Army veteran, spoke to an audience at the 2019 Veterans Day ceremony. Van Landscnoot, who also received an award at the 2019 ceremony, spoke about his prior service and shared wisdom from his life.
File Photo by Alexa Henderson

As part of the Veterans Day Week celebrations at UW-Superior, the Veteran and Nontraditional Student Center (VNSC) held a ceremony to celebrate the veterans of our campus community on Friday, Nov. 13 via Zoom. 

Four of UW-Superior’s own staff members, alumni and students were selected to receive the Henry Blomberg Excellence in Service Award. The award is designed to recognize students and alumni who, “Embody the character, integrity and commitment to others that exemplifies ‘Excellence in Service.’” The winners of this year’s award were Ryan Lovaas, U.S. Air Force; Mayor Jim Paine, U.S. Marine Corps; Michael Bodin, U.S. Navy; and Thomas Wiberg, U.S. Navy.

The award is named after Lt. Henry Blomberg, a Superior native who served in WWI. Blomberg was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest military award, for his extraordinary heroism in his actions during the war. Blomberg was injured in combat and passed away in October of 1918, a little more than a month before the end of the war.

ROTC members present the colors at the beginning of the 2019 Veterans Day Ceremony. This year’s event, held virtually, honored four students, staff and alumni.
ROTC members present the colors at the beginning of the 2019 Veterans Day Ceremony. This year’s event, held virtually, honored four students, staff and alumni.
File Photo by Alexa Henderson

The ceremony also featured a presentation from keynote speaker Shelly Hanson, founder of the Armadillo Project in Hibbing, Minn. Hanson shared her experience of navigating resources and systems involving military mental health and suicide in northern Minnesota.

The Veterans Day ceremony was the conclusion of Veterans Day Week at UWS, which also included a diversity talkback session on Thursday, Nov. 12.

President Woodrow Wilson declared Nov. 11, 1919, as the first celebration of Armistice Day, celebrating the end of hostilities during WWI before the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. 

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…” President Wilson said.

Now, Nov. 11 is more commonly known as Veterans Day to celebrate all servicemembers. Armistice was crossed out and replaced with Veterans after WWII and, in 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower served the first Veterans Day Proclamation.

“In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose,” President Eisenhower said. “Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance.”

For more information about the VNSC, contact them by emailing vnsc@uwsuper.edu.