The Montpelier Veterans Council, with members from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 792, American Legion Post 3 and the Montpelier Lodge of Elks 924 met recently to finalize plans for the Veterans Day ceremonies which will be held throughout the day Tuesday, November 11.
Beginning at 9:30 a.m., the parade will form at the Main Street roundabout in Montpelier, and all veterans, family and friends are encouraged to join in the march to honor veterans of all wars. The parade will step off at 10 a.m. down Main Street to State Street, to the War Memorial where a brief wreath-laying ceremony will be held, then to City Hall Memorial for a brief ceremony. Following these ceremonies the American Legion Post 3 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 792 will hold an open house for all. The VFW, at around 11:30 a.m., will hold a full Veterans Day ceremony with speaker Lt. Colonel Gregory Knight, Deputy Commander, 124th Regiment (ATI) U.S. Army/VTRNG. A free buffet lunch will be provided, and all are invited.
At 5 p.m. a social hour will be held at the Montpelier Lodge of Elks #924 and at 6 p.m. sharp the Barre Tones Quartet will open the evening, “A Salute to Our Heroes, You the Veterans of the United States of America,” with a selection of patriotic songs. There will also be the presentation of colors, POW/MIA remembrance service, singing of “The Star Spangled Banner,” the Pledge of Allegiance, and the retirement of the colors. Dinner will be served at approximately 7 p.m., free to all veterans and children 12 and under, and $13 for all others. Reservations are a must, as seating is limited and based on first come. Call 223-2600 ext. 22 no later than November 6.
Following dinner, the address will be given by Lt. Colonel Gregory Knight, Deputy Commander, 124th Regiment (ATI) U.S. Army/VTARNG with a completely different program than the one he presented at the VFW in the afternoon. Following his address, other ceremonies will be held recognizing our heroes.
November 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 took place on November 11, 1918. In legislature that was passed in 1938, November 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.
In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
Veterans Day gives Americans the opportunity to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans. However, most Americans confuse this holiday with Memorial Day, reports the Department of Veterans Affairs. It’s imperative that all Americans know the history of Veterans Day so that we can honor our former service members properly.
One question many have – what is a veteran? A “veteran” – whether active duty, National Guard, Reserve, discharged or retired – is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount “up to and including his or her life.” That is honor. And it is important that everyone in this country understand that fact.