Remember veterans on Nov. 11...and always
● By Steven Hoffman
Veterans Day will be observed on Wednesday, Nov. 11. It's a good day to remember and celebrate the service of all U.S. military veterans.
Pennsylvanians went to the polls to vote for a variety of local, county, and state offices on Tuesday. The right to vote for the men and women who run our government and make myriad decisions that impact our daily lives is a right that has been bravely defended by our U.S. military, and shouldn't be taken for granted.
Whatever you enjoy this week, whether it's spending time with your family and friends, taking a few hours to watch a movie, or taking a leisurely run or walk in the park, remember that we would not have the opportunities and tremendous freedoms that we have without the service of our veterans.
Veterans Day traces its origins to President Woodrow Wilson's declaration that Nov. 11, 1919 would be Armistice Day, which marked the end of major fighting in World War I. That war formally ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.
During his speech proclaiming Nov. 11 as Armistice Day, President Wilson said, “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.”
Armistice Day, which is still celebrated by some countries, evolved into Veterans Day in the United States in 1954. The idea of a national Veterans Day allowed for the remembrance of all veterans, not just those who passed away during World War I.
While it's important to remember, and maybe even thank a veteran on Nov. 11, the men and women who have sacrificed for their country deserve our gratitude and respect throughout the year.
One good way to honor and support U.S. military veterans is by lending support to the local Wreaths Across America event, which has a mission of expanding the wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. This year, remembrance wreaths will bill be placed at the headstones of fallen veterans at more than 1,000 locations across the country and around the world. The Oxford Cemetery is going to be a location for a wreath-laying ceremony for the eighth time.
Anyone interested in volunteering with the local Wreaths Across America location can do so through the Wreaths Across America website or social media channels. Anyone interested in sponsoring wreaths for the Oxford Cemetery this year can contact the event coordinator, Laura Sperratore, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage everyone to find a way to remember and honor the service of all of our veterans.