Friday, October 24, 2014

Our Opportunity to Honor Veterans

Veterans Day will be next month - November 11th.  We have several different days designated for honoring our military veterans and active duty personnel - Memorial Day, Pearl Harbor Day, Armistice Day, Spirit of '45, etc.  It can get confusing for those like me who don't grow up around military family members so I looked up the history of 'Veterans Day'.  What I found was:  World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”  Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls.  November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

The San Lorenzo Valley Museum noticed that there was no planned activity in our community to honor and thank our local veterans for their sacrifices.  Parades and cemetery visits were planned in other Santa Cruz County communities, but not here.  The Museum believes in collaboration and partnership so an evening with dinner, celebratory atmosphere, and  camaraderie with our local veterans was planned by local veterans and museum volunteers five years ago.  From that first event the feeling of appreciation, pride, and heart-felt thankfulness was felt by everyone and has continued each year up to this year's dinner.  The collaboration of veterans and museum volunteers has shown the community that this is a special evening for everyone to enjoy and share their memories, mementos, and themselves with each other.  We hope that our community joins us for this wonderful opportunity to say 'Thank You'.