Veterans 2

By Lisa Rodgers


BELVIDERE- “For the first time ever, there will be no parade scheduled down State Street in Belvidere. No marching bands, no troops of scouts carrying their flags or girl scouts,” Greg Kelm, Commander VFW Post 1461 2006 through the present, said.

“When I called the school administration office to question this decision, I was told that the powers that be two years ago decided it would be in the best interest for the students to be taught by teachers about the importance of Veterans Day,” Commander Kelm said.

There will be a ceremony honoring veterans on Nov. 11 beginning at 9:30 a.m. The Honor Guard will have a 21 gun salute at the WWII Memorial in Belvidere Park followed at 10 a.m. with a ceremony at the VFW Post located at 1310 W. Lincoln Avenue in Belvidere.

Belvidere High School and Belvidere North High School bands will participate.  Gold Stars Sisters will throw the wreaths into the river on Appleton Road in honor of the over 660,000 men and women who have given their lives, and to remember the 96,000 KIA’s and MIA’s who have not returned home.

“I was a medic in Vietnam from 1970 through 1971.  Thousands of medics saved multiple lives ever month during the war.  Was one of those lives enough?  Yes it was.  If we only have one veteran for the parade is that enough?  Yes it is.  The number of people or veterans attending the parade should never matter.  We should have a parade to honor our veterans along with members of the community and students participating,” Commander Kelm said.

On Oct. 8, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave a proclamation which stated:

“WHEREAS it has long been our custom to commemorate Nov. 11, the anniversary of the ending of World War I, by paying tribute to the heroes of that tragic struggle and by rededicating ourselves to the cause of peace; and

WHEREAS in the intervening years the United States has been involved in two other great military conflicts, which have added millions of veterans living and dead to the honor rolls of this Nation; and

WHEREAS the Congress passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1928 (44 Stat. 1962), calling for the observance of Nov.11 with appropriate ceremonies, and later provided in an act approved May 13, 1938 (52 Stat. 351), that the eleventh of November should be a legal holiday and should be known as Armistice Day; and

WHEREAS in order to expand the significance of that commemoration and in order that a grateful nation might pay appropriate homage to the veterans of all its wars who have contributed so much to the preservation of this Nation, the Congress, by an act approved June 1, 1954 (68 Stat. 168), changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, President of the United States of America, do hereby call upon all of our citizens to observe Thursday, Nov. 11, 1954, as Veterans Day.

On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting and enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.  I also direct the appropriate officials of the government to arrange for the display of the flag of the United States on all public buildings on Veterans Day.

In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.

Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance.  I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.

IN WITNESS THEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and cause the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this eighth day of October in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and [SEAL] fifty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-ninth.”

President Eisenhower’s proclamation was gathered from:


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