A Veterans/Armistice Day observance will be held on Wednesday, November 11, at 11 a.m. in Meeting Rooms A/B in the Oak Ridge Civic Center. Veterans and members of the public are invited to attend the program, which will feature music, reflections, and poetry to celebrate peace and to honor those who have served our country in the military.
If you were born after 1960, there is a good chance you don’t know that November 11 is Armistice Day, as well as Veterans Day. Armistice Day celebrates the coming of peace at the end of World War I, once optimistically referred to as “The War To End All Wars.” It became an official U.S. holiday in 1926 and is still celebrated in Europe at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month to commemorate the signing of the armistice at that moment in 1918.
Veterans Day was established as a U.S. holiday by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1954 to honor all those who had served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Ever since, Armistice Day has been overshadowed in the U.S.
Among the songs to be sung on Wednesday will be “Eternal Father Strong to Save” and “Let There Be Peace.” Poems written by soldiers from World War I to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will be read. Among the poems will be “Lest We Forget,” “Not lost, not forever,” “High Flight,” and “In Flanders Fields,” which inspired the tradition of wearing a red poppy on Armistice Day.
The Reverend Don Morris of Kern Memorial Methodist Church will offer the invocation and benediction, and Charlotte Bowers will provide music for the observance.
Democracy for East Tennessee, or DFET, a non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to the preservation of democracy, is sponsoring this event. DFET welcomes the participation of other groups wishing to co-sponsor future observations of Veterans Day.
For more information, contact Joan Cassens at (865) 220-8900 or Tom Burns at (865) 482-5735.
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