American Legion Post 14, 417 Ivinson St., honored Laramie’s veterans and veterans across the nation yesterday with its annual Veterans’ Day Breakfast and ceremony.
Celebrations began with a free breakfast that started 6 a.m., prepared by fellow veterans and volunteers and provided to all veterans in the area. By the time breakfast concluded, more than 60 veterans (and some with spouses) and some guests were served; for those unable to be there in person, meals were delivered. .
As 11 a.m. neared, men, women and youth — the youngest a sixth grade student — flooded into the meeting hall. Although the number of attendees for the ceremony was small, unmistakable reverence emanated throughout the room as the color guard marched in unison to the front of the room. In addition, six members of the Laramie High School Rodeo Club, held flags honoring the various branches of the military.
Following a two minute period of silence, salute to the flag, playing of the national anthem, Pledge of Allegiance and prayer, four speakers addressed the gathering, presenting speeches provided by the American Legion. Those who spoke included Post Commander Vanessa Stuart, and Deanna Hurless, adjutant and U.S. Air Force veteran. An adjutant is a military officer who acts as an administrative assistant to a senior officer.
“[Today] we are commemorating the services of all veterans of all wars,” said Stuart, “[and] we recognize services to our country and her cause does not end with the termination of military service.”
Hurless outlined the importance of the day and emphasized to those present to remember the four pillars practiced and revered by veterans: Veterans, defense, Americanism and youth.
The speech also highlighted the growing issue of suicide and highlighted the organization’s newly-proposed program, “Buddy Check.” This system provides a platform for veterans to check in with other members; promoting regular wellness checks; and monitoring for those who need help but don’t have the resources.
“I feel very strongly about our veterans,” Hurless said, “[and today] is a day to recognize their choice to serve our country.”
According to one veteran and American Legion member, today is the only day we veterans are truly celebrated. He went on to add that veterans should be celebrated every day.
About Veterans Day
Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day and is still recognized as that by several European nations. It began in 1919 at the signing of the Treaty of Versaille on June 28. However, fighting had ceased seven months earlier when the Allies and Germany put together an armistice (hence the name) that went into effect at “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”
In 1954, in the U.S., a bill was passed by Congress and signed by President Dwight David Eisenhower, that renamed the occasion as Veterans Day, to honor all who had served in the military, in war and in peace. However, the date was set for the fourth Monday in October.
For many, most wanted tho celebrate Veterans Day on Nov. 11. It would not be until Sept. 20, 1975, when President Gerald Ford signed another law that returned the observance to its original date. However, it did not go into effect until 1978. (source: Wikiped)
About the American Legion
The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919. As the oldest veterans service association, American Legion focuses its efforts on ensuring the proper representation of veterans in Congress and in public, promoting strong national security; and serving as mentors to youth of the nation to uphold the principles of honor and patriotism.
There are an estimated two million members, making it the nation’s largest veterans service organization. (source: www.legion.org)