Veterans Day a day to honor those who served

Christmas mail arrives for U.S. Soldiers in Bruvans France during World War I circa 1917

On the central Kenai Peninsula, area organizations are hosting a Veterans Day celebration at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 558,000 are still alive. "On Veterans Day, we honor all Americans who have served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, both in times of war and peace".

The honor roll will be made of black granite, with a similar design to the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. It will be placed in a traffic circle at the intersection of 4th and Liberty Streets in California, where memorials honoring World War 1 and World War II veterans already stand.

It began in 1919 as Armistice Day, marking the end of hostilities on November 11, 1918, at the close of World War I - "the war to end all wars". "The kids are here, the Flash of Crimson [band] always does a super job, so it was fantastic, and it is always gratifying as a veteran, to think, 'I wonder if anyone remembers the sacrifices of these guys'".

In Florence, the community gathers for several events to thank veterans and honor their service. Our support and appreciation for our veterans needs to extend beyond the weekend's observances. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. "And for that, there are no words to express our gratitude", Florence Veterans Day Parade organizers said.

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In 1926, Congress passed a resolution for an annual observance. The first Veterans Day under the new law was Monday, October 25, 1971; confusion ensued, as many states disapproved of this change, and continued to observe the holiday on its original date. It was the men and women who were able to return home to live their lives after the First World War, and all veterans, who have been remembered and revered every November 11.

The day offers parents and teachers an opportunity to teach children about American history. They'll be enjoying the spectacle or taking part in the parade itself.

Some people participate in a moment of silence in remembrance of those who gave their lives for their country.

This year, a portion of the funds collected will also be donated to the Kent Veterans Memorial Fund. With approximately 1700 names of local veterans, dating back to the Civil War and through to the present, it is a tangible way to see how many veterans, right here, we have to thank for their service.

A visit to the Fallon County Veterans Memorial in the city park is another way to acknowledge Veterans Day.

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