Gardner, Edgerton and Spring Hill can’t be accused of not caring for and supporting their veterans – and no holiday makes it clearer than Veterans Day.
Commemorations kicked off this weekend with Spring Hill’s annual Veterans Day celebration. The day included speeches, music and performances designed to honor the service of veterans from Spring Hill both living and deceased.
In Gardner, veterans and their families will be honored with a celebration that is open to the public. It will include a video presentation of veterans with ties to the Gardner Edgerton communities.
On Thursday, local veterans will be honored again at New Century AirCenter’s Naval Park with a ceremony and re-dedication of the park there.
Veterans Day is officially observed on Nov. 11 – specifically on the 11th hour of the 11 day of the 11th month.
Initially the day commemorated the formal ending of World War I. Major hositilities of that war ended in 1918 on that day at that time with the German signing of the Armstice.
The following year, then-President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month would be a day of remembering the sacrifices of World War I veterans.
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of 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,” Wilson said.
A Kansan, Alfred King of Emporia, suggested that the holiday be changed to honor the veterans of all wars. The Emporia Chamber of Commerce took up the cause with 90 percent of merchants and the school board shuttering the doors of businesses and the schools to honor veterans on Nov. 11, 1953.
The following year, President Dwight Eisenhower changed the holiday to honor all veterans.
There are an estimated 25 million veterans today. They all deserve recognition, and we are so proud to live in communities that honor their service.