Reinhardt University’s Office of Student Activities will host a special Veterans Day event Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. in the Bannister Glasshouse, Hasty Student Center. The event is open to the public. It will feature Jim Lindenmayer, director of the Cherokee County Homeless Veteran Program, the Cherokee High School ROTC color guard and Reinhardt’s School of the Performing Arts.
Reinhardt President Dr. Kina S. Mallard will give a welcome and Student Body President Katie Purcell will introduce the speakers. Michael Satterly Sr., vice commander for American Legion Post 316 in Woodstock, joins Lindenmayer as a guest speaker.
“Student Activities understands the importance of helping and commemorating our veterans,” said junior Business Administration and Management major Kristen Holder. “We hope through our program that Reinhardt students, as well as the community, will have a better understanding of veterans. We also hope to raise awareness of issues veterans are facing today.”
In addition to the program, Reinhardt University has a bigger mission of partnering with the Cherokee Homeless Veterans Program to serve the County’s veterans in different ways.
“There is a coat drive underway on campus to collect as many coats as we can for homeless veterans for the winter,” Holder said. “The drive will end with the Veterans Day Ceremony.”
Students also will participate in veterans’ home repair projects on Saturday, Nov. 12.
Through the partnership with Lindenmayer and the Cherokee County Homeless Veteran Program and American Legion Post 45 in Canton, all branches will be represented at the ceremony.
“There will be a POW MIA table setting ceremony,” Holder added.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, a member of Reinhardt’s School of Performing Arts will play Taps.
“This is an important even because it commemorates our veterans. It is vital to understand and appreciate the sacrifices they have made for us,” Holder said.
In 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. This site, on a hillside overlooking the Potomac River and the city of Washington, became the focal point of reverence for America’s veterans. Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in England and France, where an unknown soldier was buried in each nation’s highest place of honor (in England, Westminster Abbey; in France, the Arc de Triomphe).
These memorial gestures all took place on November 11 giving universal recognition to the celebrated ending of World War I fighting at 11:00 AM, November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). The day became known as “Armistice Day.”
Armistice Day officially received its name in America 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,” November 11 might still be called Armistice Day. But only a few years after the holiday was proclaimed, war broke out in Europe, sixteen and one-half Americans took part, four hundred seven thousand of them died in service, more than 292,000 in battle.
Raymond Weeks of Birmingham, Alabama, organized a Veterans Day parade for that city on November 11, 1947, to honor all of America's veterans for their loyal service. Later, U.S. Representative Edward H. Rees of Kansas proposed legislation changing the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor all who have served in America’s Armed Forces.
In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11th as Veterans Day and called upon Americans everywhere to rededicate themselves to the cause of peace. He issued a Presidential Order directing the head of the Veterans Administration, now the Department of Veterans Affairs, to form a Veterans Day National Committee to organize and oversee the national observance of Veterans Day.
In 1968, Congress moved Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. However, it became apparent that the November 11th date was historically significant to a great many Americans. As a result, Congress formally returned the observance of Veterans Day to its traditional date in 1978.
The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery. At 11:00 a.m., a color guard, made up of members from each of the military services, renders honors to America's war dead during a tradition-rich ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
The President or his representative places a wreath at the Tomb and a bugler sounds “Taps.” The balance of the ceremony, including a "Parade of Flags" by numerous veterans service organizations, takes place inside the Memorial Amphitheater, adjacent to the Tomb.