Wednesday, November 11, will be a day of remembrance for all veterans and their families throughout communities all around the state and nation.
Veterans Day is observed annually on November 11, to recall the end of World War I on that date in 1918.
More specifically, major hostilities of the war formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, with the German signing of the Armistice. The day was formally dedicated by King George V on Nov. 7, 1919, in observance of members of the armed forces who were killed during the war.
Consequently, it was first known as Armistice Day, but was given its new name of Veterans Day after the end of World War II, and thereafter celebrated as such, today honoring those who served in World War I (dwindling numbers), World War II, Korea and Vietnam, as well as those who have served the nation in times of peace.
On that note, special programs will be planned to celebrate the freedom all of us are enjoying as a result of veterans' efforts, meaning even so much more during these trying times when veterans now serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, and other points around the world, are losing their lives on a daily basis in an effort to preserve and protect our basic freedoms.
One of the most dignified and powerfully impressive tributes preserved locally to remember veterans is the Veterans Memorial on 17th Avenue, on the fringe of Maplewood Park.
Anybody who has picnicked at the park or taken their kids there in the summer to play is aware of this stately monument featuring the names of local veterans - both living and dead - accented by four flags typical to the organization - the POW MIA, North Dakota, United States and the West Fargo Park District, who oversees the city's park network.
If you've not yet had the opportunity to visit the monument, doing so would be a good way to kick off your Veterans Day observance next Wednesday.
After that, there will be plenty of activity at West Fargo VFW Post 7564 all day long, during their annual observance that honors all veterans for their patriotism and their service and sacrifice to the country; and beyond that - for ongoing commitment and service to various veterans organizations and causes that seem to have become an innate way of life after their 'active' time in the military concluded.
The Veterans Day celebration is open to everyone wishing to stop in.
The occasion will provide the perfect setting and the perfect opportunity to visit with a veteran and acknowledge them for their achievement and thank them for their service - the least any of us can do on the day set aside in their behalf.