World War I ended when fighting between Germany (along with the Central Powers) and the Allied Nations stopped on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Seven months later, in June of 1919, Germany and the Allied Nations signed the Treaty of Versailles in Versailles, France which officially ended what was known as “The Great War.” In November of 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th as “Armistice Day”, because an armistice (a temporary end of hostilities) was what ended the war. President Wilson stated, “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 the gratitude for the victory.”
The United States officially recognized Armistice Day (November 11th) as a national holiday on May 13th 1938. The day was originally to celebrate World War I veterans but in 1954, World War II required the greatest mobilization of soldiers. After American military fought in Korea, they amended the Act of 1938 which stated that Armistice Day would be changed to Veteran’s Day to honor all veterans of all wars from every branch.
Sixty years later, we still continue to celebrate veterans across the nation. On Tuesday, November 11th 2014, our community honored its local veterans with an assembly narrated by Mrs. Beth Huber. There were performances by the middle school Jazz Band, the high school Concert Band, and the Madrigals Choir. The elementary school fifth graders sang a song, and recited a speech of thanks along with the intro to the Constitution of the United States.
There were speeches given by Student Council representatives Ellie Miller, Olivia Ostendorf, Linda Shaffer, and Caitlan Thorne. Each one of these girls spoke about a local veteran and their experiences in the military. Each member was quite thankful for their own adventure in the military. After these honors, Lauren Utter’s mom, Mrs. Dana Capozzella, came up onto the stage to express her thoughts on the military. She asked the entire crowd to stand if they had family members that are currently serving in the military or have once served; almost the entire room came to their feet. It was an incredible sight to witness. When she stepped down, the lights went down and a slide show appeared on a big white screen. The slides consisted of pictures of local veteran’s around the community. Once the slide show was over, the lights lit back up as the room sat in silence. The boy scouts retired the flags as the well-known Taps was played by one of our veteran’s to dismiss the assembly.
These brave men and women put their lives on the line everyday so that we can have our freedoms. The assembly and all of the veteran pride of our community go to show how many honorable Americans are willing to serve and protect their country.