America will observe Veterans Day on Tuesday, Nov. 11 to honor the sacrifices made by those who have fought for our freedoms. It is a holiday that dates back nearly 100 years to the end of World War I.
While Memorial Day honors those who died in combat, Veterans Day thanks those who served and returned home. It was President Woodrow Wilson, who first recognized Nov. 11 as Armistice Day in 1919. It became an official holiday in 1938. After World War II, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day, to honor veterans from all of America’s wars, not just one specific war.
America’s veterans run the gamut, from the ever-shrinking ranks of the “greatest generation” that fought World War II, to the soldiers who returned home from Vietnam two generations later without the parades and praise afforded veterans of other eras.
Back then, America’s armed forces were much closer to the community. It was rare to find a family that didn’t have someone in the service. However, for the past 40 years, the United States has had an all-volunteer armed forces. While this has led to a much higher degree of military professionalism, it has also separated everyday Americans from their veterans. Military service runs deep in some families, and not so much in others. This is yet another reason why Veterans Day presents such an important bonding opportunity.
Be sure to take some time out that day to honor those who served, and perhaps even pay your respects by attending a community observance. Here are a few to consider:
• The Seminole Ridge High School Army JROTC will host its annual Veterans Day program on Monday, Nov. 10 at 9 a.m. in the school gym. There will be a reception for veterans in the media center at 10:15 a.m.
• Wellington and the American Legion Chris Reyka Memorial Wellington Post 390 will honor all current and former members of the armed forces at Wellington’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 11. The activities begin with a parade at 8:15 a.m. commencing at the Wellington Municipal Complex, followed by a ceremony at the Wellington Veterans Memorial.
• A candlelight service to salute veterans will be held Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. at the Veterans Park Amphitheater on Royal Palm Beach Blvd. A flag-raising ceremony will be followed by a motivational presentation, followed by refreshments and a musical performance by the Royal Palm Beach Community Band following the ceremony.
• The Wellington High School Band will present a free Salute to Veterans Concert on Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Wellington High School Theater (2101 Greenview Shores Blvd.). Refreshments will be served following the concert.