By November 9, 2017 Read More →

COMMENTARY: Greater Fairmont second to none when it comes to honoring Veterans Day

By JOHN DAHLIA

The Fairmont News

Saturday is Veterans Day — a day we set aside to honor the brave men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces. Communities around the state and nation will host various patriotic events to celebrate the national holiday.

The Greater Fairmont area is certainly second to none when it comes to those time-honored traditions.

After all, we are home to the Veteran’s Square on Adams Street, the recently named East Marion Veteran’s Memorial Park and, of course, Hershel “Woody” Williams, the last surviving recipient of the Medal of Honor from the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.

Events scheduled range from the annual Veterans Day Parade in downtown Fairmont to a Veterans Breakfast at the North Marion Senior Center in Mannington.

But Veterans Day is much more than a few community parades, 21-gun salute and a day off from school.

Many might not know that these patriotic celebrations have been passed down from generation to generation spanning nearly 100 years. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, in November 1919, then-President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “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.”

The original concept for the celebration was for a day to be observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11 a.m.

At the time, Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the nation’s history and after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of many veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” Veterans Day was born.

Time marched forward, and our nation and its armed forces have suffered through many conflicts and challenges along the way. Our brave sentinels quickly became veterans who have earned much more than a single day each year to be honored.

Perhaps the national holiday should be recognized more often. After all, here in Fairmont there are quite a few veterans to recognize. According to latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are 5,575 veterans living in Marion County as of Sept. 30, 2016. Across the state, the number is a staggering 167,355.

On Saturday, we urge you to take a few moments and thank a veteran in your community or neighborhood. But we also hope you remember and thank our veterans after Nov. 11.

Saturday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day — a day we set aside to honor the brave men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces. Communities around the state and nation will host various patriotic events to celebrate the national holiday. The Greater Fairmont area is certainly second to none when it comes to those time-honored traditions.

After all, we are home to the Veteran’s Square on Adams Street, the recently named East Marion Veteran’s Memorial Park and, of course, Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams, the last surviving recipient of the Medal of Honor from the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.

Events scheduled range from the annual Veterans Day Parade in downtown Fairmont to a Veterans Breakfast at the North Marion Senior Center in Mannington.

But Veterans Day is much more than a few community parades, 21-gun salute and a day off from school.

Many might not know that these patriotic celebrations have been passed down from generation to generation spanning nearly 100 years. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, in November 1919, then-President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “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.”

The original concept for the celebration was for a day to be observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11 a.m.

At the time, Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the nation’s history and after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of many veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” Veterans Day was born.

Time marched forward, and our nation and its armed forces have suffered through many conflicts and challenges along the way. Our brave sentinels quickly became veterans who have earned much more than a single day each year to be honored.

Perhaps the national holiday should be recognized more often. After all, here in Fairmont there are quite a few veterans to recognize. According to latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are 5,575 veterans living in Marion County as of Sept. 30, 2017. Across the state, the number is a staggering 167,355.

On Saturday, we urge you to take a few moments and thank a veteran in your community or neighborhood. But we also hope you remember and thank our veterans after Nov. 11.

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