By: Jack Swift
Friday November 11 is Veterans Day, the day set aside for honoring and remembering American Veterans of all wars. A special Veterans Day observance has been planned for that day which always falls on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The program is slated to begin at 11:00 a.m. (the eleventh hour). Heritage Hall is the venue for the occasion.
The Johnson County Honor Guard along with the Mountain City American Legion Post 61 and the Mountain City VFW Post 6908 puts on the event each year.Special speaker for the Veterans Day program will be Jon Lundberg, former member of the Tennessee House of Representatives who was recently elected Tennessee State Senator for the 4th District. He was unopposed for the post. Senator Lundberg replaced State Senator Ron Ramsey who retired. Ramsey is also expected to speak. Mountain City and Johnson County mayors and other dignitaries are slated to address the crowd also.
Nancy Davis will add her amazing talent in singing a number of patriotic songs. Davis’ Middle School Singers will also perform. The singing talent of the late Kerry Gentry, a Vietnam Veteran, will be missed as he has sung in the Veterans Day program for a number of years. He passed away October 22, 2016. Special emphases this year will be a “Salute to Desert Storm.”
Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11at 11:00 a.m. because that was the date and time in 1918 that an Armistice (temporary suspension of hostilities) was signed between the allied nations and Germany in World War I.
It was officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. World War I (also called the Great War) was said to be the War to end all Wars. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
On November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11, as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with these words, in part: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”
An act of Congress approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November a national legal holiday to be celebrated and known as Armistice Day. Later, Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” Thus, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. Attendance for the local program is expected to be good.