Veterans at the Rowley Masonic Community were honored with a ceremony and dedication of a Veterans Wall on Thursday, June 14.
Rowley Masonic Community, in partnership with Kindred Hospice, honored 18 veterans with certificates and American flag pins. The ceremony was held before the unveiling of the permanent Veterans Wall outside the Theater Room in the Main Hall.
The pinning ceremony is one that Kindred Hospice performs nationwide as part of We Honor Veterans. Hospice Specialist Nicole Steffens brought the idea to Rowley’s Director of Nursing Kris Siefken and Administrator Kate Klimesh.
Siefken is a veteran himself, along with 18 others within the Rowley Masonic Community.
“I thought why don’t do we just do a wall and a pinning at the same time,” Steffens said. “There’s such a large veteran population in here and they definitely deserve to be recognized. We’re glad to be a part of it.”
Klimesh said she jumped at the idea of honoring veterans through the ceremony and Veterans Wall.
“Our veterans do deserve the recognition for what they did for our country,” she said. “No matter what the level of service was, they gave time and energy to protecting our country. This was the least we could do.”
A prayer was read at the beginning of the ceremony. Steffens and Carly Fry of Kindred Hospice then shook the hands of the 18 veterans, handed them certificates and attached American flag pins on their shirts.
Spouses of the veterans and other veterans in the audience were also honored with an American flag pin during the ceremony.
Everyone then moved outside into the Main Hall for the unveiling of the Veterans Wall. Photos of all 18 veterans within the Rowley Masonic Community hung on the wall underneath lights. The photos were organized under each branch of service.
“I think it was a pretty poignant moment for them to be recognized. So many of our veterans go without thanks for the service that they did,” Steffens said. “So the We Honor Veterans ceremony that Kindred does is just a great way to give back. We ask nothing in return, just to simply give them a thank you for fighting for our freedom everyday.”