Wayne State College

Wayne State to Mark Veterans Day

Published Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

American flag

Music students will play "Taps" on the campus commons at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, to honor military veterans.

Wayne State College will mark Veterans Day on Thursday, Nov. 11, to honor the men and women of our country who have served and continue to serve in our armed forces. Wayne State music students Jacee Wiesen of Staplehurst, Neb., who is pursuing a field endorsement in music, and Lane McRoberts of Homer, Neb., who is majoring in general music with a criminal justice minor, will perform “Taps” on the campus commons at 11 a.m. The College invites the entire Wayne State community to join in this moment of reflection upon the bravery and sacrifices of those called to duty for the United States and its allies. The College is grateful to all who have served.

This time, day, and month are significant. The United States’ observance of Veterans Day looks back at the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918 that signaled the end of World War I, known as Armistice Day.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website, Armistice Day officially received its name in the United States in 1926 through a Congressional resolution. It became a national holiday 12 years later by similar Congressional action.

“If the idealistic hope had been realized that World War I was ‘the War to end all wars,’ Nov. 11 might still be called Armistice Day,” according to the VA website. “But only a few years after the holiday was proclaimed, war broke out in Europe. Sixteen and one-half million Americans took part. Four hundred seven thousand of them died in service, more than 292,000 in battle.”

The VA website goes on to note that the first celebration using the term Veterans Day occurred in Birmingham, Ala., in 1947. Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran, organized "National Veterans Day," which included a parade and other festivities, to honor all veterans. The event was held on Nov. 11, then designated Armistice Day. Later, U.S. Representative Edward Rees of Kansas proposed a bill that would change Armistice Day to Veterans Day. In 1954, Congress passed the bill that President Eisenhower signed proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day.

The focal point for official, national ceremonies for Veterans Day continues to be the memorial amphitheater built around the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery in Fort Myer, Va. At 11 a.m. on November 11, a combined color guard representing all military services executes a salute at the tomb. The nation’s tribute to its war dead is symbolized by the laying of a presidential wreath and the playing of “Taps” by a bugler.