Veterans were honored in appropriate and moving ceremonies across the nation on Monday, Nov. 11. Originally called Armistice Day, Monday’s observance became an official holiday in 1938 and commemorated the day the Allied forces and Germany put into effect an armistice on Nov. 11, 1918, signaling an end to the fighting of World War I. Today, all veterans who have served the nation are honored.
Locally, a number of restaurants and businesses offered free or discounted meals to veterans. Many retail stores also ran Veterans Day specials. Public events such as college and professional football and basketball contests honored those who have served in the military.
The Herald & Tribune informed its readers about plans to honor servicemen and women in the Oct. 30 edition with a notice and photograph about the 2019 Veterans Musical Concert on Sunday, Nov. 10 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center. The program’s notice was repeated on the front page of the Nov. 6 edition along with a story and picture on “A Jonesborough soldier at sea” and another article on future members of the military in a report headlined “Students seeking excellence” about the Daniel Boone High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC drill team.
Another front page article reported that the East Tennessee History Center would offer free admission to veterans, active duty military and their families following the Knoxville Veterans Day Parade. On the Herald & Tribune’s GENEALOGY & HISTORY page, nearly the entire page was devoted to the Andrew Johnson Cemetery in Greeneville where nearly 2,200 veterans have been buried including soldiers from the Civil, Spanish-American, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan Conflicts. The same page announced that “A Walk In Their Boots” would be a special tribute to veterans at Tipton-Haynes Historic Site in Johnson City from Friday, Nov. 8 through Sunday, Nov. 10. The presentation was an “All-Era-Military Timeline” event paying tribute to the American soldier.
A number of government employees had a day off work on Monday. One person observed that without activity at both the Justice Center and Main Street Courthouse, the Town of Jonesborough seemed nearly deserted.
Area civic and political leaders, veterans organizations, and government agencies like the local Veterans Administration at Mountain Home deserve praise for their programs honoring veterans. After saying “thanks” to the nation’s soldiers, sailors, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard personnel most of us will now turn our attention to the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays.
What is missing in all the ceremonies and programs just listed is the continuation of a year-long celebration. While other activities and obligations will demand our attention in the coming weeks, veterans should not be forgotten.
Unfortunately, a number of veterans are homeless or without family support. They should be remembered and assisted this holiday season. No attempt is being made in this editorial to list all the public agencies, charitable groups and churches that are willing to assist these individuals who have given so much in keeping America free from tyranny.
However, there are five ways to assist servicemen, servicewomen and veterans throughout the year suggested by Military.com. They areto treat them to a treat (a dinner or other social event), recognize them, share their story, serve the family and serve the community (by volunteering to assist a veterans service organization).
Groups providing assistance are invited to send notices of their willingness to aid veterans to the Herald & Tribune. Letters to the Editor honoring individuals who have served or are at the present time serving their country are also solicited. Finally, readers suggestions as to why and how we can keep veterans’ needs and accomplishments in our hearts and minds throughout the year are welcomed.
Veterans did not forget our nation when called upon to serve. We should not forget them either on Veterans Day or throughout the year.