Lansing Veterans Memorial ceremony focuses on preventing veteran suicide

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Lansing Veterans
Veterans pose for a photo at the 2021 Veterans Days ceremony on November 7, 2021. (Photo provided)
By Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (November 8, 2021) – Following its usual tradition, the Lansing Veterans Memorial Ceremonial Honor Guard held a Veterans Day Ceremony on the Sunday before Veterans Day. The event, which took place in the afternoon at the Lansing Veterans Memorial, drew an estimated crowd of 130 people, a significant portion of which were veterans.

Veteran suicide prevention

The featured speaker at the ceremony was Michelle Langlois, the Lead Suicide Prevention Coordinator at Jesse Brown VA in Chicago. Langlois provided information about the cause, speaking for roughly a half hour at the event.

“It’s been in the news more so in recent years than before,” said Rich Dominiak of veteran suicide. Dominiak is a member of the Lansing Veterans Memorial Ceremonial Honor Guard and said he knows two veterans who have attempted suicide.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ 2021 National Veteran Suicide Prevention report, roughly 17 U.S. veterans committed suicide every day in 2019, resulting in 6,261 total deaths that year.

Event involvement

Honor Guard members raised and lowered the flags during the ceremony, and Lansing Boy Scout Troop 276 led the Pledge of Allegiance. Pastor John Richy of St. John Lutheran Church led the prayer during the event, and Neil Venhuizen led Taps. Chad Carson from Visible Music College led the singing of the National Anthem.

For the Rifle Salute, LVMCHG members joined with members of the Department of Defense’s Rifle Squad.

The Lansing Veterans Memorial is located near the Ford Hangar, southeast of the intersection of Burnham Avenue and Glenwood Lansing Road. Veterans Day is on November 11.