Three annual local Veterans/Armistice Day events are scheduled Saturday morning within a short distance of each other, each honoring those who served in different ways.
Veterans for Peace, Chapter 100, will be observing the occasion as Armistice Day starting at 10:45 a.m. with a ringing of the bell at the Alaska State Capitol on 4th Street at 11 a.m. The public is invited to attend and help ring the bell.
Veterans For Peace has re-established the tradition of ringing bells on Nov. 11, originally called Armistice Day, celebrating the relief felt around the world when the World War I Armistice was signed. Bells were rung throughout the world to celebrate peace and the end of a war that killed or wounded more than 30 million people. It became a worldwide tradition to observe the anniversary of the armistice by ringing bells to honor the veterans and to promote world peace.
Congress officially recognized Nov. 11 as Armistice Day in 1926 and made it a legal holiday in 1938 — a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” It was changed to Veterans Day by in 1954 by presidential proclamation, with President Eisenhower calling on us to “reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.”
Veterans For Peace has taken the lead in restoring the original intent of Nov. 11 – as a day for peace. As veterans we know that a day that celebrates peace, not war, is the best way to honor the sacrifices of veterans.
Another event will be the American Legion/Veterans of Foreign Wars Veterans Day Services at Centennial Hall at 11 a.m., which will feature Capt. JD Cole, the U.S. Coast Guard’s 17th District chief of staff as the keynote speaker. Doors open at 10:30 a.m., the services start promptly at 11 a.m. and will be short in duration.
The American Legion Post 25 is also hosting an open house from noon-2 p.m. at its location at 12480 Glacier Hwy., where pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw and other fixings will be served.
Southeast Alaska Native Veterans are hosting a Veterans Day ceremony and luncheon at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall at 11 a.m.
The ceremony is free and open to the public with lunch provided. More information about the event is available by contacting Commander Wm Ozzie Sheakley at (907) 209-0985.