Salinans gathered on an overcast, damp Saturday morning at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month to honor all veterans.
A nice crowd braved light drizzle on a chilly morning 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 citizens simply wanting to show respect.
Retired Lt. Col. Richard Fisher was the guest speaker.
Lt. Col. Fisher gave a history of Veteran’s Day. “We are here to honor all men and women who are serving, or who have served our nation,” he said.
Lt. Col. Fisher said that about three percent of the American population are veterans. All are an important part of their communities, he said.
Lt. Col Fisher also provided some statistics about veterans , some of them startling.
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 Saturday included the St. John’s Military School Band performing the National Anthem and taps, and a 21 gun salute followed by a moment of silence.
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