Following the end of World War I, the US government created “Armistice Day” in 1919 to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the largest war the world had ever seen. However, in 1954 President Dwight Eisenhower changed this day to what is now known as “Veterans Day”. This day was created to commemorate all our brave men and women that have willingly stepped up to defend our nation. Since that day 64 years ago, Veterans Day has been celebrated on November 11th, the same ending date of World War I in 1918. All over the nation communities come together to celebrate these brave men and women in their lives.
At a large corporate level, chain restaurants, such as Chili’s and Applebee’s, are offering discounts or even free meals to veterans. At a national level, veterans will be able to go to various national parks free of charge on Sunday, as well as a variety of other national landmarks. At a local level, many cities across the nation hold Veteran’s Day parades, including Casper, Wyoming. Even further here in the state of Wyoming, all state parks will be waiving the entrance and day use fees for veterans on Sunday. Please note that all of these require proof of service in the US military.
Here in Laramie and on campus, the university holds the Veterans Day Roll Call Event. As students head out the west doors of the union into Simpson’s Plaza, there will be a reading of names of those who have died in combat since 2001.
“This actually began as a project in Eastern Kentucky University, it started around 2010 and basically any college campus can sign on to the pledge,” said Marty Martinez, Senior Project Coordinator at UW Veterans Services Center. “The pledge consists of two things, one that you honor veterans however you want to that day and the second part is there is a moment of silence done across the country all at the same time. So for us it is at noon, we stop and take a minute of silence.”
This event began here in 2011 and honors those men and women who have have died in battle defending our nation overseas.
“What we do here on campus is we start at eight in the morning with an introduction from the ROTC Cadets, who will do a presentation of the flags,” said Nicholas Whites, who is in charge of the event here on campus. “And then from eight in the morning ‘til usually around seven at night we read the names. Individuals will read have about ten minutes to read 100 of the names of the fallen service members.”
The National Roll Call Event is incredibly important to our nation and our university.
“It promotes not forgetting those who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said White
“This is a place of education so it’s important for us to help people to remember, not only those who died in service, but to remember that we’re a country that enjoys and celebrates it’s freedom,” said Martinez. “A lot of people had to do a lot of things to ensure that freedom was gained for our country and that it is still here today.”
Veterans Day is this Sunday, and throughout the country there are a variety of events in remembrance of our fallen service members. From free entry to national parks to the National Roll Call Event, all over the nation citizens will be able to honor their fallen and veteran loved ones in one way or another.
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