Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I. The war officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919; however, the fighting ended about seven months before that when the Allies and Germany signed an armistice on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
For that reason, Nov. 11, 1918 was largely considered the end of the “war to end all wars” and dubbed Armistice Day. In 1926, Congress officially recognized it as the end of the war, and in 1938, it became an official holiday, primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I.
But then World War II and the Korean War happened, so Congress on June 1, 1954, changed the name Armistice Day to Veterans Day, so that day would honor American veterans of all wars.
In addition, a group of veterans from the Walter W. Craig American Legion Post is planning and organizing a Veterans Day Parade to be held on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 1 p.m. It has been many years since New Bethlehem has had a Veterans Day Parade.
We are inviting all community organizations, civic groups, church groups, scouts, 4-H and local businesses to either build a float or just walk in the parade. Anyone wishing to take part can call me at (814) 275-2381.
Here is an anticipated list of participants so far: American Legion Honor Guard; special guests; two hay wagons for veterans to ride in; Redbank Valley High School marching band; hopefully some re-enactors; Civil Air Patrol; military vehicles; Legion Riders; and fire trucks.
In recent years, Veterans Day observations have become nonexistent at best, with spectators often limited to passersby, or someone running errands. This is a grand occasion to breathe life back into this once extremely significant day in our history.
We are inviting all the members of the Redbank Valley community, especially parents, to take the time to bring their children to the parade to help them understand the meaning of Veterans Day and to enjoy the parade.