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2012-11-08

Bandera celebrates her veterans this Saturday

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, an armistice treaty signed in a drizzling rain in France's Compiègne Forest signaled the end of "the war to end all wars."
Almost immediately, President Woodrow Wilson designated Nov. 11 as Armistice Day, a day set aside to commemorate the end of World War I.
After the Korean War, President Dwight Eisenhower expanded the scope of the now-designated Veterans Day to honor all men and women who had served in the United States Armed Forces. However, in 1968, Congress passed a law in 1968 changing the date to the fourth Monday in October - and, not coincidentally, adding yet another three-day weekend to the calendar. Fueled by the displeasure of both veterans and citizens, the American people summarily rejected the date change.
Ten years later Congress returned Veterans Day to its traditional Nov. 11 observance. On Sept. 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law that returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date, to begin in 1978. His action underscored the wishes of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, major veterans service organizations and the American people.
The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but focuses attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day - to celebrate and honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
To commemorate Veterans Day, the annual Bandera Honors Veterans celebration will take place Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Bandera County Courthouse complex on Main Street.
This all-day event includes family displays on exhibit at 9 am, an official opening ceremony at 11 am, a grand parade kicking off at noon and a special luncheon for veterans served on the courthouse lawn at 1 pm. All events will recognize and honor members of the United States Armed Forces - both former and present.
Retired Lt. Col. Stephen Harris of the US Marine Corps will serve as distinguished guest speaker. He has served in the Republic of South Korea; Mogadishu, Somalia; and Saudi Arabia, among other deployments.
In 2000, he assumed command of Marine Air Control Squadron.
His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with one gold Star, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with one Gold Star and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
The Bandera Honors Veterans committee, headed up by retired Marine Corps Col. Marshall Considine III, urges all veterans and current members of the armed forces to participate in the activities.
"Invite a family members who is presently serving in the armed forces to celebrate this day with you," urged a spokesman for Bandera Honors Veterans.
To honor a veteran with a display of photos ad memorabilia, contact Sue Maddox at 830-522-0414.