Veterans Day, a date with special meaning

Veterans Day

At the end of World War I, on Nov. 11, 1918 at 11 a.m., an armistice agreement was signed, marking the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front. This momentous event led to the end of World War I and is commemorated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in various countries.

The significance of the date and time, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m., has led to a symbolic association with the number 11. In some cultures, this particular moment is considered a moment of silence and reflection to honor the soldiers who lost their lives during the war. It’s also a time to remember the sacrifices made by veterans and to promote peace.

In the United States, Armistice Day later evolved into Veterans Day, a national holiday dedicated to honoring all military veterans. In many other countries, Nov. 11 is observed as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day, and it involves ceremonies, parades, and the wearing of red poppies as a symbol of remembrance.

The significance of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” remains a poignant reminder of the end of World War I and the ongoing importance of honoring those who have served in the military.

Locally, churches are encouraged to ring their bells and chimes 11 times on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m., and honor veterans in their Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 4 and 5 services. Fire and emergency departments are asked to sound their sirens also at 11 a.m. 

Fly your flag on this day to honor veterans. It is not a day of mourning, but a day of celebration and honor. Therefore, it is not a day of half-staff. 

Encourage schools to thank veterans for bravely doing what they were called to do so we can safely do what we’re free to do.  

Owego and Tioga County honor veterans who sacrificed for our freedom on Veterans Day at 11 a.m. in Warner Hall of the Glenn A. Warner Post 1371. The Post is named in honor of WWII Fallen Hero Glenn A. Warner, buried in the American Military Cemetery in Margraten, Netherlands.

The program begins with the Presentation of the Colors by the VFW 1371 Honor Guard. St. Patrick’s / Blessed Trinity Deacon and Honor Guard Chaplain Michael Donovan offers the invocation and benediction. Guest speakers will talk about the significance of Veterans Day.

Individuals will be recognized for their local service and contributions to veterans. Needed is a military history display. Owego Free Academy singers have been invited for patriotic music. There will be a solemn moment where the names of local veterans who have passed away since Memorial Day.

Director of the Tioga County Veterans Service Agency, Michael Middaugh, will cover topics like veterans’ benefits and other opportunities for veterans. Vietnam Veteran Lew Sauerbrey will read the iconic poem, “In Flanders Fields.” VFW Auxiliary’s Dorolyn Perry will share the “Red Poppy” story. 

Acknowledgement of Route 38 – The New York State Veterans Highway of Valor  – was dedicated on Veterans Day 2009 by the NYS Legislature in recognition of the service and sacrifices of those who served in the Vietnam War.

The annual tribute rides up Route 38 from Owego to Hannibal.

The program concludes with the benediction, a moment of silence, and the retiring of the colors.

One of the most powerful things you can do this Veterans Day is to simply listen to a service member. It is the perfect time to reach out to them. Ask them about their service, what they learned, and what they wished people knew about military service. 

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