A pre-Memorial Day celebration helped “shine a light” on veterans, their service to the country and their sacrifices on Friday morning, May 27.
The Alter Building Veterans’ Celebration highlighted that service to the country as dozens gathered for festivities outside the office building at 2117 State St., Bettendorf.
That celebration was one of many events held Friday as part of the community’s Zip Code Day. Bettendorf’s zip code – 52722 – matched the Friday calendar date of 5/27/22. Many Bettendorf businesses and organizations hosted celebrations and activities to mark the day.
Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher told the QCBJ there were more than 100 Zip Code Day events planned on Friday alone with many more events coming next week.
“The response to (Zip Code Day) has been overwhelming. People have been jumping on the bandwagon. It’s been great,” Mr. Gallagher added.
The celebration continues through Saturday, June 4, when the Be Downtown festival will be the finale.
The Alter Building celebration was all about honoring military veterans. The day’s programs included presentations by area veterans’ groups, messages of support for vets and their families and a display of military and trucking equipment.
“It’s just so important to shine a light on these veterans,” said Greg Adamson, Bettendorf Fourth Ward alderman and an Army veteran, who helped emcee the morning program. “It’s really cool to see the people out here honoring the veterans.”
One of the people watching the celebration was Jeff Goldstein, CEO of the Alter Co., and the Goldstein Group. He was pleased by the event because it was a great way to “build community” and honor veterans at the start of the Memorial Day weekend.
Some of the features at the Alter Building celebration included:
- Jose Cerda gave a presentation for the SEAL Family Legacy, which is a group dedicated to raising awareness for service men and women who died serving their country. The group’s co-founder told the crowd that the new nonprofit will hold the Inaugural Legacy Ride that starts at 9:30 a.m. July 16 at the Bettendorf Waterfront Center. That event will honor fallen military members and their families.
- Hub Director Steve Garrington of Honor Flight of the Quad Cities told the crowd about the Honor Flights, and asked for veterans and guardians to sign up for the next QC flight planned for Tuesday, Oct. 4. Go to honorflightqc.org for more information.
- Mr. Adamson told the crowd about the Bettendorf Veterans Memorial at 1645 23rd St. He said the memorial honors local veterans. The names of vets can be placed on the memorial if a veteran is a current or past resident of Bettendorf or works in the community. There are 935 names on the memorial, he added. For more information, go to bettendorf.org.
- Mindy Smith-Pace, Iowa fellow for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, gave a presentation on the foundation’s work to help the families and caregivers of veterans. She told the crowd that there are 5.5 million caregivers of veterans. Those caregivers help make sure many vets can stay home and do not have to go into care facilities.
- A flag-folding ceremony was conducted by the Vietnam Veterans of America #669.
- A free breakfast was provided by C&W Trucking & Sons Inc.
- Bagpipe music was provided by Derek Grant, and songs were performed by the Chord Busters group.
Sponsors of the Alter Building celebration were: Alter Building, Goldstein Group, Alter Logistics Co., Alter Metal Recycling Co., Green Bridge Co., C&W Trucking & Sons Inc, MSA Professional Services, Plant Site Logistics and the Quad Cities Regional Business Journal. Event organizers also gave special thanks to Millennium Waste, Guitar Center, Real Life Church, and Mike Kaas of IFP Motion Solutions.