ASHLAND – The Ashland area honored veterans with three events last week.
On Nov. 11, the traditional Veterans Day program was held at Ashland-Greenwood High School in the morning. The guest speaker was Kenneth Krings, a former AG student and veteran of the U.S. Army. Krings spoke via Zoom to the audience.
The program was also livestreamed to the elementary school. There is usually a ceremony in the elementary gym, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, school officials felt it was best not to assemble nearly 600 students in the small gym.
Later that night, a Veterans Day program was held at Willow Point Gallery in Ashland. Owner Mary Roncka unveiled a painting done by her husband, the late Gene Roncka, of a B-29 bomber. The painting, called “Just Beyond,” has never been displayed at the gallery.
Roncka also provided a print of the painting to Tom Deleski, an Air Force veteran who was a B-29 gunner. He joined the Air Force in 1951.
Deleski spoke to the crowd, which filled the gallery, reciting colorful anecdotes of his time in the Air Force.
Chris Swancara, collections manager at Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum, gave a presentation about the Martin Bomber Plant in Bellevue, providing artifacts from the facility.
On Saturday night, the Sons of American Legion Squadron 129 hosted a Veterans Appreciation Dinner at the newly-named American Legion Post 129 Event Center, formerly known as the VFW Hall.
U.S. Congressman Don Bacon was the guest speaker, along with American Legion state officials. Bacon said he is proud to represent District 2, which now includes Saunders County after redistricting.