Veterans Day is an opportunity to thank and honor those who have fought to protect our freedom. We honor those who served in the military in both wartime and peacetime. While Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living veterans for their service, we should also remember those who lost their lives. Special thoughts should go to those families who lost a loved one whose remains never returned to American soil.
On Nov. 11, 1918 the Germans signed the Armistice and an order was issued for all firing to cease, ending World War I. In 1938, Congress passed a bill decreeing that each Nov. 11 “shall be dedicated to the cause of world peace and… hereafter celebrated and known as Armistice Day.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt made the day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and, for 16 years, the United States celebrated Armistice Day with ceremonies, parades and religious services.
Following World War II, leaders of veterans’ groups supported a change to make Nov. 11 a time to honor all who had fought in various American wars, not just in World War I. The name was officially changed to Veterans Day by Act of Congress on May 24, 1954.
In 2014, Voorhees Township established the Veterans Wall of Honor in the lobby of Town Hall to pay tribute to veterans with ties to Voorhees. Each year, more worthy heroes are added. Currently there are 436 veterans memorialized on the Wall.
Veterans are a treasured part of our community. They are our parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. We should be grateful to veterans every day for protecting the freedom that we too often take for granted.
**Visit Santa at the Voorhees Town Center from Dec. 3 through Christmas Eve, during Mall hours. Bring your pets and have their photos taken with Santa every Monday evening at 6 p.m. For more information, visit www.voorheestowncenter.com.