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Ceremony in Willmar, Minn., to honor World War II vets

WILLMAR -- World War II veterans in Kandiyohi County will be honored today in Willmar with certificates of appreciation for their service.

Minnesota National Guard Capt. James M. Elieff and Trisha Appeldorn, Kandiyohi County Veterans Service Officer, will present the certificates at 3 p.m. today at the Willmar Armory.

Appeldorn said in a news release that there are more than 150 World War II veterans still living in the county, according to her research, but there could be more. She said if there are any World War II veterans who did not receive an invitation, they are encouraged to attend, and the office will make sure they also receive a certificate.

She is expecting 75 to 100 veterans who have confirmed they will attend.

Donald Canaday, a retired Army Special Forces General and former president of the International Kiwanis, founded this project to recognize World War II veterans, Appeldorn said.

Appeldorn credits Darlene Larson, of New London, for the idea of conducting this ceremony for all the World War II vets in Kandiyohi County. Larson heard about it from her extended family members and later contacted Appeldorn.