Salinans gathered on a bright, blustery, Wednesday morning at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month to honor all veterans.
A nice crowd braved a gusty wind and gathered for Veterans Day ceremonies at the Salina / Saline County War Memorial in Sunset Park. Among those in the crowd were veterans and their family and friends, students from St. John’s Military School and Southeast of Saline schools, and citizens simply wanting to show respect.
Col. Dave Johnson, the chief of staff for the 35th Infantry Division based at Fort Leavenworth, was the guest speaker.
Col. Johnson said that it is important to remember the sacrifice of all veterans. “Our nation owes a great debt of gratitude to its veterans, whose service spans every decade and continues everyday of our nation’s existence,” he said. The Col. said that no veteran should ever be forgotten. ” “Today is important because we choose to honor veterans from the greatest generation to the latest generation,” he said.
Col. Johnson also spoke about “having the solemn duty” of conducting military funerals for two of his soldiers who were killed in action.
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.
The event in Salina on Wednesday included the an origanal patriotic poem written and recited by Salinan Norma Linenberger, the National Anthem, echoing taps “Taps” played on trumpets, “Amazing Grace” played on bagpipes, and a 21 gun salute followed by a moment of silence.
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