OP/ED: Thanking Wilmington for Veterans Day Turnout

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Dear Editor,

I would like to thank The Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Michael Newhouse for running the Veterans Day Ceremonies this past Sunday. It was a wonderful tribute to the brave men and women that have served our country in the Military. It was a beautiful day and as usual the Town of Wilmington turned out to show their respect. The Wilmington High School Band, Police and Fire Honor Guards were there as well as the 344th MP Co's Honor Guard did a great job. The 344th MP Co. is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in April of next year. Thank you to all involved in making Veterans' Day such a nice tribute to Wilmington's' Veterans. I am extremely proud to be the Veterans' Service Officer of such a proud and passionate town when it comes to honoring our Veterans'. Thank you to all the Wilmington Residents who attended the ceremonies to show their respect, and to all those who have served past and present I say Thank you.

To the gentleman who left a message on the Department of Veterans' Services phone over the weekend, I can assure you this was not a "cruel joke" played on the Veterans' of Wilmington. The Town of Wilmington has a proud tradition of honoring their Veterans on the 11th Day of the 11th month at the 11th hour of each year:

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 11:00 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 twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 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 November 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.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Lou Cimaglia, Director
Wilmington Department of Veterans' Services


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