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November 5, 2013 > Honoring our veterans

Honoring our veterans

By Julie Grabowski

Valor, courage, sacrifice: these are just a few of the words that apply to millions of Americans who have served in the United States armed forces. The U.S. military dates back to 1775 when defenses were created to protect our burgeoning country from the British Empire.

Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard are branches of the United States Armed Forces tasked with the protection of our country and its citizens. Commanded by the President of the United States, serving as Commander in Chief, the military operates in over 100 countries. The Department of Defense, headquartered in the Pentagon at Washington, D.C., directed by the Secretary of Defense is the countryÕs largest and oldest government agency.

On ongoing desire to honor those who have served in the military was formalized as a national, legal holiday in 1938 as ÒArmistice Day,Ó primarily to recognize those who served and died in World War I that ended November 11, 1918 (Òeleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh monthÓ). Remembered by an Act of Congress as ÒThe most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals,Ó it was observed each year with thanksgiving and renewed efforts toward peace and good will. Following World War II that called for the greatest military mobilization in our nationÕs history, and war in Korea, the Act was amended in 1954, changing ÒArmisticeÓ to ÒVeterans,Ó thereby making November 11 a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

A Veterans Day national ceremony is held each year at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, beginning by placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continuing in the adjacent Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by various veteransÕ organizations and comments from attending dignitaries.

In the Tri-Cities, Post 9601 will observe Veterans Day at the Castro Valley Veterans Memorial. This yearÕs ceremony honors World War II veterans; Brigadier General Garrett Yee will serve as guest speaker. Veterans will also be honored for their service at Acacia Creek in Union City, attended by the mayor and city officials and Honor Guard. The City of Hayward will host an event at City Hall, and the City of Milpitas will announce their 2013 Veteran of the Year at a ceremony at Veterans Plaza.

Veterans Day is a moment to remember millions of countrymen who have served and suffered for the freedom citizens enjoy every day.

Veterans Day
Monday, Nov 11

Castro Valley
11 a.m.
Castro Valley Veterans Memorial
Castro Valley Community Park
Swallow Ct., Castro Valley

11 a.m.
Hayward City Hall
777 B St., Hayward
(510) 583-4401

9 a.m.
Veterans Plaza at Milpitas City Hall
455 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas
(Between City Hall and Community Center)
(408) 586-3210

Union City
11 a.m.
Acacia Creek
34400 Mission Blvd., Union City

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