By Lou Michaels
The Department of Minnesota celebrated its 75th anniversary with a dinner at Mancini’s Steakhouse in St. Paul, Minnesota on Wednesday, October 28. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, strict CDC guidelines were followed, including a restriction on the number of guests who attended in person. There were 85 people who attended the dinner in the main room, 25 in an outside room, and many more via Zoom.
JWV National Judge Advocate Peter Nickitas served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event which Department of Minnesota Commander Lou Michaels organized. The Department Chaplain Irving Rosenbloom offered opening and closing prayers.
A number of distinguished guests were present in person, including National Commander Jeff Sacks, National Chief of Staff Robert Nussbaum, Department of Wisconsin Commander Kim Queen, Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Shaun Menke, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Herke, DAV National Commander Stephen Whitehead, AMVETS State of Minnesota Commander John Flores, American Legion State of Minnesota Commander Mark Dovrak, Minnesota State Senator Sandy Pappas, and Prime Minister of the Winter Carnival Royal House of Spire Joe Johnston.
During the event, the Department received proclamations in honor of its 75th anniversary from St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Governor Tim Walz.
Royalty from the St. Paul Winter Carnival, established in 1886, bestowed honors on some of the distinguished guests by “knighting” Sacks and Nussbaum. Sacks is the third consecutive National Commander to attend the annual dinner and receive this honor.
The day also happened to be Sacks’ birthday and we celebrated by presenting him with a large cake at the close of dinner.
Volume 74. Number 4. 2020