“To all of the Veterans of Craig County, we salute you,” many locals express every month, especially in November. “It’s because of your heart, your bravery and what you call your duty that we live in this free country called America today.”
Observed annually on November 11, Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday designed to celebrate and honor military Veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
History tells us that World War I, known at the time as “The Great War,” officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day stating, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”
The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.
It was also decided that the recurring anniversary of this date should be ”commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.”
Later, a proclamation was made, calling officials to “display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.”
On June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. Then, on October 8, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation” which stated: “In order to ensure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all Veterans, all Veterans’ organizations and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.”
Craig County has a long-lived history of honoring their men and women who served their country, with open arms when returning from war and annually with dinners and thanksgiving celebrations to honor their faithful commitment and service.
On Sunday, November 10, all local Veterans as well as active military will be honored at the VFW with a homemade dinner and a short program. It starts at 1 p.m., and doors will open at noon.
“There’s no thank you this is big enough for our military who have served our citizens and our country in the greatest sacrifice,” said the planning team. “They are our examples of patriotism and true love for country and we wish to let them know that we are greatly appreciative.”