Celebrating and honoring veterans

World War I began in 1914, after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and lasted until 1918. During the conflict, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire (the Central Powers) fought against Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan and the United States (the Allied Powers). Thanks to new military technologies and the horrors of trench warfare, World War I saw unprecedented levels of carnage and destruction. By the time the war was over and the Allied Powers claimed victory, more than 16 million people-soldiers and civilians alike-were dead.
Since the armistice that ended World War I on Nov. 11, 1918, Veterans Day has stood as an opportunity for the United States, as both a nation and its citizens, to remember and recognize American veterans of all generations.
World War I - known at the time as The Great War, officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of "the war to end all wars."
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11 a.m.
The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and
Whereas the legislatures of 27 of our states have already declared Nov. 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring, that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Nov. 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.
 As has become an honored tradition in Grundy County, all across the county we will gather over the weekend to recognize our neighbors, friends and family that are proud to call themselves Veterans of the United States of America.
This year marks a special Veterans Day as the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and the start of what has become Veterans Day.
Here are some of the community events scheduled to honor our veterans:
Coal City - The annual community Veteran's Day Observance sponsored by the Coal City Public Library District will be held at the Coal City Center for the Performing Arts Coal City high school, 605 W. Division St., starting at 11 a.m., Sunday Nov. 11. St. Juvin Post 1336 Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Post 796 will participate in the observance.
Seneca - Seneca High School and the Seneca FFA will host a school assembly on Friday, Nov. 9. The assembly will start at 10:15 a.m. and is followed by a lunch. Contact the school at 815-357-5000 for more details and if seats are still available for the lunch.
Mazon-The Mazon American Legion Post 352 will host an observance and dinner on Saturday, Nov. 10 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The American Legion is located at 500 Depot Street in Mazon.
Minooka -On Saturday, Nov. 10,  there will be a Veterans Day Lunch for all veterans, active duty and retired military personnel at Cookies Restaurant in Minooka, this event is a gift of Jerry and Lorraine Davidson. Reservations are required. Contact Davidson at 815-467-6331 to RSVP for either the 11 a.m. or the 12:30 p.m. seating. Cookies is located at the corner of Mondamin and Wabena Avenue in Minooka.
Morris-The Morris American Legion will be hosting the annual Veterans Day parade and observance on Sunday, Nov. 11. The parade will start from Chapin Park about 10:30 a.m. and end at the Grundy County Courthouse where they will hold the observance at 11 a.m. The public is welcome to participate in the parade, no registration required, just be at the park by 10 a.m.. In the event of inclement weather the observance will be held at the Morris High School.
Saratoga School is hosting an assembly on Monday, Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. in the Farmer Gym. Veterans are invited to attend.
 Immaculate Conception School is hosting an assembly on Monday, Nov. 12, at 8:15 a.m. Veterans are invited to attend.
Edward Hines VA Medical Center - All area Veterans and their families are invited to Hines VAMC at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10. The event will start with a parade at 10 a.m. followed by the ceremony at 11 a.m. The day will include lunch and a Veterans Resource Fair.
Veterans have given us freedom, security and the greatest nation on earth. It is impossible to put a price on that. We must never forget their service and sacrifice.