Remember our veterans on Nov. 11

Directly on the heels of Tuesday’s election day, we’ll observe Veterans Day on Sunday. Though they are very different days, they’re bound together by a common theme.
Both are centered on a key element of our nation: freedom.
Our elections are a key element in preserving our democracy. We’re free to vote our conscience in our elections – whether it’s in the presidential race or in the most obscure local position on the ballot.
As we look forward to this Sunday’s observation of Veterans Day, it is equally important to our freedom. The focus of that holiday, however, will be to honor the members of the military who have sacrificed to make our other freedoms possible.
Originally begun in 1918, it was first known as Armistice Day. It was established to commemorate the end of World War I at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The name was changed to Veterans Day in 1954, with the intention that it would be a holiday to honor all who have served in our armed forces to defend our country.
It’s right that we recall those heroes who have placed themselves in harm’s way to preserve the freedoms that we enjoy.
Locally, we know of two programs that will observe Veterans Day. The first is Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Crawford-Hale American Legion Post, which is located at 321 S. Seventh St. in Vandalia. The Rev. Tom Farris, pastor of First Church of God and a Vietnam veteran, will be the guest speaker. Music will be provided by the FourGiven Quartet.
Another program, this one a flag ceremony, will be presented on Monday by the St. Elmo American Legion Post. The event will begin at 11 a.m. at the Veterans’ Memorial at the Phillips Building on U.S. Route 40.
Take time this weekend to remember our veterans. Look for an opportunity to tell one of them personally that you appreciate what he or she did to keep our nation free.

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