Veterans make innumerable sacrifices every day to protect us. The brave men and women of the armed services go beyond the call of duty to protect our freedoms and ensure we live in a safe country. Often times, they must leave their families to deploy to foreign countries so our families can be protected.
In an effort to honor and show appreciation for our veterans, Nov. 11 has been designated as Veterans Day.
“Nov. 11, or what has come to be known as Veterans Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor Armistice Day — the end of World War I, which officially took place on Nov. 11, 1918,” according to military.com. “In legislation that was passed in 1938, Nov. 11 was dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as Armistice Day. As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.”
On June 1, 1954, legislation was passed to include veterans of World War II and the Korean War, and Armistice Day subsequently was changed to Veterans Day. In 1968, Veterans Day was changed from Nov. 11 to the last Monday of October to give federal employees a three-day weekend. But on Sept. 20, 1975, President Gerald Ford signed a law returning Veterans Day back to its original date of Nov. 11.
Veterans Day 2011 fell on Friday, and many events and activities took place in celebration of this important holiday. Most federal and state offices were closed in honor of Veterans Day. Celebrations abound across the country. Many cities held large parades to honor and celebrate our veterans. Flags were flown throughout the nation as a symbol of our freedom.
Every year, Savannah holds a Veterans Day parade. On Nov. 11, the city honored veterans with the 62nd parade celebration, according to Savannahnow.com.
On Veterans Day, veterans, members of the U.S. armed forces and their families are admitted free to most public lands that are managed by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, according to About.com.
The Hinesville Homeless Prevention Program sponsored two events in conjunction with Veterans Day. On Friday, there was a dinner for homeless veterans and their families. On Saturday, there was a resource fair and veterans’ cafe. Both events were at Victory Assembly of God in Hinesville.
“The purpose of these events is the assist those homeless veterans in the community. This is the first time we have held the resource fair and veterans’ café,” said Daisy Jones, who serves as the Hinesville Homeless Prevention Program coordinator. “We will also provide them with backpacks and comfort items and blankets. These items were donated by the American Red Cross and Department of Labor.
“We will also have key service providers from the Department of Family and Children Services, Fort Stewart Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Clinic, counseling services and the Department of Labor office to connect veterans with benefits.”
In Liberty County, we are fortunate to have many veterans and their families living in the community. Many veterans and active-duty members attend and participate in local churches. Some churches will honor these veterans and military members with special activities and programs. They will receive flags, their names will be posted on bulletin boards and in program bulletins, poems will be read, and they will be honored with luncheons and breakfasts.
To the many men and women of the armed forces, we salute you for your unselfish service and commend you for a job well done.