This Monday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day — a day set aside to recognize and honor those who served this great nation, past and present, in times of both war and peace.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary suspension of fighting, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War.
Observed as Armistice Day beginning the following year, and Nov. 11 became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938.
Following the unprecedented mobilization of troops during World War II and then the Korean War, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day, dedicated to all American veterans — living or dead — who served this country.
With more than 21 million American veterans — nearly 15 percent of the population — most of us have a close relationship with someone who has served. Some have family members, spouses, children or parents who are or once were in the military. Still others holding this newspaper have served themselves.
We want to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank these individuals for their selflessness, courage and dedication to our homeland.
You are all heroes.
But those words really don’t go far enough.
To truly show our gratitude, we should all take the time to attend a Veterans Day observation. More importantly, we should include our children in the ceremony.
They need to know that Veterans Day is much more than simply a federal holiday off from work and school. They need to know that the sacrifices made by previous generations are what allow us to enjoy the freedoms we so often take for granted today.
We are a proud country with a long history of defending our rights and way of life. We should instill that national pride in the next generation. Attending a local observance, experiencing a 21-gun salute, hearing the somber playing of “Taps,” will all go a long way toward accomplishing that goal.
Observations around the region will not be hard to find. Here is a quick rundown of observances planned in our readership area:
•In Warrensburg, American Legion Post 446 will be conducting ceremonies at 10:45 a.m. Nov. 11 at the Warrensburg Cemetery off Hudson Street. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4821 of Warrensburg is holding its veterans day ceremonies at 11 a.m. in Frederick Flynn Memorial Park on River Street.
•In Chestertown, the Chestertown-based American Legion and VFW are combining forces for a Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 at the new Veterans Memorial Plaza in front of the Chester Municipal Center.
•In North Creek, the Adirondack Tri-County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on State Route 28 in North Creek will host a Veterans Day memorial service at 2 p.m. Nov. 11. The service is open to the public.
•In Crown Point, the First Congregational Church is holding its third annual Veterans Recognition and Appreciation as part of its 9:30 a.m. worship service on Nov. 10.
•In Ticonderoga, veterans will be honored during Ticonderoga’s seventh annual “memory walk” Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. in the west Pine Section of Valley View Cemetery. Also in Ticonderoga The Ti Elks will hold a Veterans Day dinner 4:30-7 p.m. It will be free for all veterans and donations will be appreciated by non-veterans. Fort Ti will also recognize veterans with a living history event, Saturday, Nov. 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
• In Wadhams, the Veterans Organizations of Essex County, through the Veterans Cemetery Committee, are conducting an observance of Veterans Day at the Essex County Veterans Cemetery on Nov. 11, beginning at 11 a.m.
•In Keene, American Legion Marcy Post 1312 will conduct a traditional Veterans Day Ceremony at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 at the Veterans Monument Park on Norton Cemetery Road. The ceremony will be followed by the formal dedication of the granite WWII Monument and a memorial granite bench.
•In Willsboro, the ninth annual Veterans Day Appreciation Program will be held Nov. 11 at 4:30 p.m. at the Willsboro Central School Cafeteria with dinner to follow.
•In Keeseville, VFW Post 1505 will host a dinner for veterans Nov. 11. The event is free for all vets and a donation will be asked for all guests. A ham dinner will be served at 5 p.m.
•In Plattsburgh, the Clinton Community College Veterans Club will hold a Veterans Day Observation Nov. 11 at the college beginning at noon and SUNY Plattsburgh Army ROTC is holding an open house from 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. in Sibley Hall, Room 309 C.
If you have the opportunity, be sure to pay it forward by including children in Veterans Day ceremonies. And, don’t forget to thank a vet this Monday for his or her service.