VERSAILLES — The Winery at Versailles held an event to honor veterans for Veterans Day on Wednesday and gave the public the opportunity to taste a little Freedom, too. “Freedom” is the name of the new wine that debuted at the winery in a special tasting event held in conjunction with the veterans event.
Guests could see the patrotic atmosphere as soon as they arrived at the winery, with military trucks in the parking lot and American flags along the road and framing the entrance.
Tim Wagner, the Versailles VFW commander and a Vietnam veteran, shared a little about the history of Veterans Day as the guests enjoyed their wine and nibbles in the winery patio room.
“Veterans Day honors all American veterans,” Wagner said, dispelling the mistaken notion that it is only for those who gave their lives in service to country. “It’s primarily to thank living veterans for the sacrifices they made in their lives to keep Americans free.”
Dave Miller told the guests that “World War II is a war that set our destiny for this country.” He thanked Mike and Carol Williams, owners of the winery, for their steadfast support of veterans over the years, and he noted that Mike himself served in the military twice.
Miller said that one thing veterans always have is other veterans. He told the story of his own return from Vietnam, when he was in uniform and back on American soil, having a beer at a bar as he made his way home.
He was approached by some belligerent locals and as he stood up from his seat, they began to back away. He joked that he must have seemed pretty intimidating if they immediately backed away when he stood, but then he noticed a group of fellow soldiers had walked up behind him to back him up.
He didn’t know the men who supported him; they were just veterans, too, and they stood in support of each other.
“There’s not any group of people I’m more proud to be associated with than the veterans,” Wagner said.
The program concluded with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the playing of taps by Ron Mescher to honor those who gave their lives in service.