GREENVILLE — Joining millions of others holding similar ceremonies across the nation, area residents gathered to pay their respects to the men and women of America’s armed services in a Veterans Day commemoration and parade held in downtown Greenville, Ohio, Friday.
Greenville American Legion Post 140 Chaplain Ken Price spoke to those assembled, who lined up along both sides of South Broadway.
“We have two holidays set aside for our veterans: Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, and Veterans Day, which is November 11,” he said.
Memorial Day is a holiday honoring those U.S. military personnel who have died in the service of their country, while Veterans Day honors the service of all veterans, living or dead.
Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day, a day set aside to remember the signing of the Armistice between Germany and the Allied Powers, including the United States, on November 11, 1918.
The Armistice marked the effective end of World War I, the so-called “War to End All Wars.”
In 1938, Congress made Armistice Day an official national holiday, though it was first observed across America by presidential decree beginning in 1919.
In 1954, nine years after the end of World War II, Congress expanded the Armistice Day observance to include all of America’s veterans, not just World War I veterans, and changed its name to “Veterans Day.”
Chaplain Price led a prayer in honor of the veterans, thanking God and saying “We raise our voices in thanksgiving for guiding us safely through our nation’s history, and blessing us with men and women who are willing to lay their lives on the line that we might enjoy the freedom we have in this country.”
Marching in the parade were members of the Darke County Chapter No. 57 of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and local Jr. ROTC members.
Following the tolling of the bell 11 times to mark the 11th hour of the day, members of the American Legion honor guard fired a 21-gun salute. The Greenville Greenwave Marching Band played “Taps,” then performed “The Star Spangled Banner.” A floral wreath was laid at the base of the Veterans Memorial on the lawn of the Darke County Courthouse.
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