Salinans gathered on a wet, chilly, Monday morning at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month to honor all veterans.
A nice crowd braved the weather and gathered for Veterans Day ceremonies at the Salina / Saline County War Memorial in Sunset Park. The event included original poetry read by Salinan Norma Linenburger, taps, and a 21 gun Salute. Lt. Col. Richard Fisher, executive officer of the Great Plains Joint Training Center and garrison commander of the Kansas Army National Guard Training Center, was the guest speaker.
Col Fisher said “we are here to celebrate, to honor, and to commemorate the dead and living, the young men and women who in every war since this country began have given testimony to their loyalty, their country, and their own great courage”.
Special sentiment was offered for retired Army 1st Sgt. Bob Maxey of Salina, who could not attend because of health reasons. During his military career Maxey was the recipient of 11 Purple Hearts and 2 Distinguished Service Crosses. He was recognized as “an awesome soldier and an awesome person”.
Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.'” As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.
In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress — at the urging of the veterans service organizations — amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.