An estimated 75 U.S. military veterans, friends and supporters turned out Thursday morning under gray skies at the Edmonds Veterans Plaza to salute all who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Originally called Armistice Day to honor those who served in the First World War and subsequently renamed Veterans Day in recognition of all veterans, the observance is traditionally held on Nov. 11 in remembrance of the end of that great conflict. With the signing of the 1919 Armistice, five years of bloody warfare ended as the guns went silent at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
“This is a day dedicated to all veterans,” began VFW Post 8870 Chaplain Dan Doyle in his welcoming remarks. “Memorial Day is more limited – it honors those who gave the last full measure.
“Today we honor all those who signed on the line and thereby put their lives on the line to serve and protect the United States of America,” he continued. “These veterans essentially signed a blank check that could be paid up to the price of their very lives. No one plans or strives to be a veteran – it’s a consequence of having made the decision to go in and serve. Veterans make contributions both in peacetime and wartime. They return home to serve their families, their community and this country in numerous ways. As a nation, we have a great responsibility to not just thank them (they don’t ask for thanks), but to respect what they’ve done.”
Doyle went on to point out that with our now all-volunteer military, fewer than 1% of Americans serve.
“Remember us in your prayers, recall what we’ve been through,” he concluded. “Our service has been an honor and privilege, and we’d do it all again.”
At the conclusion of his remarks, Doyle was joined by other VFW members to distribute various service pins. These included pins to all who served during the Vietnam era (1955-1975), surviving spouses of deceased Vietnam-era veterans, and recognition pins for all who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel