The Wells Foundation and the University of Minnesota Health Sciences Orchestra collaborated on the 7th annual Veteran’s Day concert designed to raise money for efforts focused on ending homelessness among veterans in the Twin Cities.
The concert featured Schubert’s Alfonso and Estrella Overture, a movement from Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto featuring soloist Elise Bombaro , selections from James Horner’s score to Apollo 13, and an arrangement of America the Beautiful.
The Rev. Mark W. Kelm (CPT, USA, DAV) delivered the invocation, and Major General Robert D. Shadley, U.S. Army (retired) described the contributions of servicemen and women using the words of poet Charles Province:
It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.
Erika Ohles, who works for St. Stephen’s Human Services as their Street Outreach Worker focusing on veterans described their efforts to address the large numbers of veterans currently experiencing homelessness due to the lack of affordable. She also described the partnership St. Stephen’s has with the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans. In the second half of 2017 alone St. Stephens served 163 veterans.
You can still donate to the Wells Foundation efforts on behalf of homeless veterans by visiting our page on GiveMN.org.