black white and red star flag

November 10th is the 246th birth­day of the U.S. Marine Corps, found­ed at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia in 1775 Semper Fi, Marines!

And the 11th will be the 102nd anniver­sary of Armistice Day, pro­claimed by Woodrow Wilson in 1919 at the con­clu­sion of World War I, the “war to end all wars.”

The day was not made an offi­cial hol­i­day until a Congressional act of 1938 and it was not until 1945 that a vet­er­an named Raymond Weeks pro­posed the idea to expand Armistice Day to cel­e­brate all vet­er­ans, not just those who died in World War I.

On May 26, 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill to for­mal­ize Weeks’ pro­pos­al. Just a few days lat­er, Congress amend­ed the bill on June 1, replac­ing “Armistice” with “Veterans.”

Originally sched­uled to be observed every year on November 11th, it was changed in 1971 to be in accord with the obtuse­ly named “Uniform Monday Holiday Act” and moved to the fourth Monday of October, where it remained until 1978 when it was returned to always occur on November 11th.

Legally, two min­utes of silence is rec­om­mend­ed to be observed at 2:11 p.m. EST on that day.
Believe it or not, the day has been sub­ject to dis­cus­sion regard­ing the spelling of Veterans. While it is com­mon­ly print­ed at either Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day in cal­en­dars and ads, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs web­site states that the attribu­tive (no apos­tro­phe) rather than the pos­ses­sive is the offi­cial spelling.

Local observances in 2021

Clark County is blessed with hav­ing many events sched­uled for obser­vance of the day.

  • WWKY, 990 AM and 102.9 FM, began doing vet­er­an-relat­ed inter­views on the 1st and will con­tin­ue through the 11th.
  • The Elks will be pro­vid­ing break­fast from 7:00 to 11:00 a.m. on the 6th.
  • Trinity Church of God is prepar­ing break­fast that same day at 9:00 a.m.
  • The 8th will see a Veterans Recognition Service at Campbell Junior High School at 9:00 a.m. and on the 9th, the GRCHS JROTC cadets will be plac­ing flags on vet­er­ans’ graves at the Winchester Cemetery.
  • On the 11th, Super Shine Car Wash will offer free car wash­es to vet­er­ans from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Baker Intermediate School will have “Biscuits and Brew” from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m., Shearer Elementary School will have two recog­ni­tion ser­vices, one at 9:00 a.m. and one at 1:00 p.m., a Veterans Day Celebration at GRCHS bas­ket­ball are­na at 9:30 a.m., Veterans Recognition & Celebration at City Hall at 11:00 a.m., a Veterans Event at Boonesboro Trail at 2:00 p.m., Applebee’s is offer­ing free meals to vet­er­ans from 11:00 a.m. to noon.

It is deeply appre­ci­at­ed by all vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies that these many activ­i­ties salute their sac­ri­fices. It would be even bet­ter if all these var­i­ous facil­i­ties and enti­ties would coör­di­nate their recog­ni­tions more close­ly to reduce over­laps which make it dif­fi­cult for some indi­vid­u­als to attend all they wish.

A closing story

Perhaps one of the best sto­ries relat­ing to vet­er­ans (per­haps apoc­ryphal) is the following:

Students enter­ing their class­room at the open­ing day’s bell found the room devoid of desks. After a peri­od of ques­tion­ing and con­cern, the teacher asked the stu­dents to stand around the perime­ter of the room as she went to the class­room door. As she held it open, in came a pro­ces­sion of men and women, each car­ry­ing a desk. They placed the desks back in an order­ly fash­ion and then went to stand at the front of the room as each stu­dent took his and her place. 

After things qui­et­ed down, the teacher began, “These folks stand­ing here are all vet­er­ans. They’re Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen. And they are the rea­son that you have desks to sit at today — not just because they brought them back into the room for you, but because they put their lives on the line so you would have the free­dom to be here. Try to remem­ber that today. And them.”

[ Chuck Witt is not only a tal­ent­ed writer, artist, and won­der­ful human being, but he is also among the many Clark County vet­er­ans to whom we owe a great debt of grat­i­tude. So to Chuck and all the men and women of this com­mu­ni­ty who have served, thank you for your ser­vice to our nation. –Ed ]

  • Chuck Witt

    Chuck is a retired archi­tect, a for­mer news­pa­per colum­nist, and a life­long res­i­dent of Winchester.