On Veterans Day we honor and remember those who have served to ensure our freedoms and to ensure the survival of the ‘American Way’. What a small gesture of saying thanks to these men and women compared to the sacrifices they have made for each and everyone one of us. A single day, just once a year, seems never to be enough.
Here in Beaufort we will be celebrating with a Veterans Day Ceremony and Community Picnic hosted by the City of Beaufort. The event will take place on Sunday, November 11 from 1pm – 4pm at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. The Official Parris Island Marine Band will kick off the festivities with a concert at 1pm and AMVETS Post 70 members will be on hand grilling hamburgers and hotdogs. Join us for this free community celebration as we honor those who have served in our armed forces on Veterans Day.
** AMVETS (American Veterans) is the nation’s most inclusive Congressionally-chartered veterans service organization. It is designed to bring together all American Veterans and their families with one common bond, service to the United States of America. Beaufort’s Post 70 is the largest in South Carolina and is very involved in the local community. This friendly and welcoming group invites you to join them at the Veterans Day Community Picnic and discover what they are all about.
Earlier in the weekend, Lowcountry Wind Symphony will open their 2018-2019 season with the fourth installment of Saluting America’s Veterans! This riveting concert will pay tribute to veterans past and current with a program of patriotic music. With 2018 marking the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I, a portion of the program will commemorate this event with music by George M. Cohan, Irving Berlin and John Philip Sousa.
Lowcountry Wind Symphony is also set to render the World Premiere of a new work by composer Stephen Melillo commissioned by Lowcountry Wind Symphony entitled ‘Midway’. This special event will take place on Friday, November 9 from 7pm-9pm at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Beaufort. The concert is free and open to the public. Donations are gratefully accepted.
Veterans Day… how did it all begin?
When the major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice, Veterans Day was created, although not known at the time. This is the precise reason why and when we celebrate, honor and take great pride in Veterans Day.
The Act was approved on May 13, 1938, which made November 11th in each year a legal holiday, known as Armistice Day. This day was originally intended to honor veterans of World War I.
A few years later, World War II required the largest mobilization of servicemen in the history of the United States and the American forces fought in Korea. In 1954, the veterans service organizations urged Congress to change the word “Armistice” to “Veterans”.
Congress approved this change and on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor all American veterans, wherever and whenever they had served.
In 1968 the Uniform Holiday Bill made an attempt to move Veterans Day to the fourth Monday of October. The bill took effect in 1971. This caused a lot of confusion as many states disagreed with this decision and continued to hold Veteran’s Day activities on November 11th. In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law, which stated that Veterans Day would again be observed on November 11th from 1978 onwards.
Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank all military personnel who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans. Veterans Day traditions include parades and church services and in many places the American flag is hung at half-mast. A period of silence lasting two minutes may be held at 11am. Some schools are closed on Veterans Day, while others do not close, but choose to mark the occasion with special assemblies or other activities.