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Veterans Day legacy to bring community together

photo courtesy of BAFB
Monday, November 11, 2013 - 11:03am

A Fall holiday, often celebrated with parades and barbecues, actually got its start almost 100 years ago.

Veterans Day is a federal holiday celebrated Nov. 11, in which Americans honor those who have served in the military, both living and deceased.

The Nov. 11 holiday is born from "Armistice Day," which was established in 1919 to honor the veterans of World War I and to commemorate the end of the war between the Allied powers and Germany.

Other allies of the United States during World War I and II, such as France, Britain, Canada and Australia, also remember their veterans on or near Nov. 11.

Britain knows the holiday as "Remembrance Day," while "Remembrance Sunday" is the second Sunday of November in Australia and is often signaled by a moment of silence at 11 a.m. In the U.S., Veterans Day is commemorated by a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The Department of Veterans Affairs website states that June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day of celebration to honor America's veterans for patriotism, love of country, willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

"Veterans have a lot of benefits, such as being able to continue using base facilities," said retired Cmdr. Monty Wyche, a veteran of the Army and Navy. "My wife and I go shopping on base all the time. There are also medical benefits."

In celebration of the upcoming holiday, the local community will offer its support in festivities.

"[My husband and I] are going to the Veterans Day parade downtown," said Staff Sgt. Cecily Yandell, 2nd Medical Group immunizations technician.
"Veterans Day is a way for us to remember what people in the military have done and are continuing to do for this country."

Airmen and their families can seek information from local newspapers or websites to find out what Veterans Day community activities are available in the local area.

"It's all about respecting those who have been in the military," said Airman 1st Class Cody Damron, 2nd Munitions Squadron cruise missile maintainer, who will spend the holiday camping with his friends. "I'm proud of what [veterans] have done for us, so it's important for us to take time to remember them." 

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