2013-11-07 / Editorial

Veterans Day deserves our attention

Veterans fire a salute in 2011 at the annual Veterans Day observance at East Ferry. 
Photo by Jeff McDonough Veterans fire a salute in 2011 at the annual Veterans Day observance at East Ferry. Photo by Jeff McDonough On Monday we will observe Veterans Day. At 11 a.m. islanders will gather at East Ferry at the Veterans Memorial Square to take part in the annual ceremony. Everyone young and old should attend if they are able.

Veterans Day was originally set aside as a U.S. holiday to observe Armistice Day and the end of World War I, a brutal and nasty conflict that claimed many lives. The armistice was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.World War I was known as the “Great War” and the “war to end all wars.”

Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Following World War II and the Korean War, Congress changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day. Nov. 11 was the day set aside to honor all American veterans from all of our nation’s wars and conflicts.

Today we continue to observe Veterans Day on Nov. 11. Unlike many other national holidays that have been turned into three-day weekends, we continue to recognize the holiday on the calendar day that it falls.

Different communities have different ways of observing the holiday. Some hold parades. Others have ceremonies at veterans’ cemeteries. Here in Jamestown, we gather at the Veterans Memorial Square for a few speeches, a prayer or two and music.

No matter how the holiday is observed, it remains an important part of our national fabric. Certainly it is right and fitting that we honor and recognize those veterans who have gone in harm’s way to protect and preserve our way of life. Veterans have been ready to put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms, which it seems that we all too often take for granted these days.

Take a few moments of your time on Monday at 11 a.m. to join the veterans.

Jamestown’s veterans also ask for volunteers to help them set up the flags at the memorial square on Monday. Volunteers again are needed at the end of the day to take down the flags. See the story on Page One if you would like to assist them.

— Jeff McDonough

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