Honoring Veterans Day
November 11th is Veterans Day, a day to honor all Military veterans, which was originally named Armistice Day on the anniversary of the end of World War 1. Major hostilities formally ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Many Countries around the World mark the day the with their own Armistice Day or Remembrance Day celebrations. In the United States it was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to celebrate all veterans.
After the end of the Great War, Congress approved the burial of an unidentified serviceman from the war. At Arlington National Cemetery on November 11th 1921 at 11 am the Medal of Honor was placed on the casket and the Unknown was interred in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In May of 1958 the remains of a World War 2 and Korean War Unknowns were interred in crypts next to the WW1 unknown. By 1984 only 1 set of recovered remains were unidentified from the Viet Nam War, they were interred on Memorial Day 1984, through DNA testing the Viet Nam Unknown was identified in 1998. The Tomb has been guarded 24 hours a day 7 days a week since 1937, regardless of the weather.
On this Veterans Day 2021 let’s honor all veterans who have served this great Nation, but also join the American Legion in honor of the 100th anniversary of the remains being laid to rest in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. At 11am on November 11th the Park Rapids American Legion Honor Guard will host a memorial service at the All Veterans Memorial and with the help of the City of Park Rapids, our local churches, Fire Department and Police Department, we will ring bells, and sound all sirens for 11 seconds, followed by a 21 second moment of silence. The Legion Honor Guard will render a rifle salute, followed by a prayer. We are asking you to take a few moments out of your day to pay respects to “an American soldier known but to God”.
To all the Veterans that walk among us, with the scars that are seen and those unseen, you have earned the respect of a grateful Nation. There are not enough words of gratitude to repay what you have been through, so I will just say Thank You for your Sacrifice.
Mike Smith, Commander
Park Rapids American Legion