Veterans Day is observed annually on November 11. It’s a time to thank all those who served honorably in the military—in war and peace—demonstrating their patriotism, love of country and willingness to sacrifice for all of us.
The commemoration marks the anniversary of the end of World War I in 1918. Originally, it was proclaimed Armistice Day by President Woodrow Wilson. In the 1940s, a World War II veteran had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower supported the idea for a National Veterans Day, and it became the official holiday under his presidency in 1954.
Veterans Day now honors all generations of Americans who served with courage, strength and distinction to defend our freedoms. Please join me in thanking the men and women who have worn the uniform, those currently serving and their families for their sacrifices and dedication to our state and our country.
Vietnam - 50th anniversary gift for veterans
All Vietnam-era veterans should stop into their county Veterans Affairs Office to pick up a free copy of a special book commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
The hardbound, 175-page book, A Time to Honor: Stories of Service, Duty, and Sacrifice, is for all Vietnam-generation veterans or surviving family. The Iowa edition has its own foreword dedicated to our own Vietnam veterans. The gift includes a 60-minute documentary on DVD, The Journey Home.
For more information, go to www.vietnam50gift.com.
Some central Iowa Veterans Day Events
Gold Star Museum
Ribbon-cutting for World War II Pacific Theater Exhibit
Friday, November 10 at 3 p.m.
Iowa Gold Star Museum, 7105 NW 70th Ave., Camp Dodge in Johnston
Highlights of the exhibit include the story of Iowa pilots and ground crew members serving in China prior to the war, a full-scale replica of a plane flown by Bill Reed of Marion, a full-scale diorama depicting the Pacific invasion, and U.S. and Japanese weapons and artifacts.
Book signing for CROSSINGS: A Doctor-Soldier's Story
Iowa Veterans Cemetery
Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs annual ceremony
Saturday, November 11 at 8 a.m.
Iowa Veterans Cemetery Committal Shelter in Van Meter
Complete details and RSVP on Facebook.
Marine Corps League Veterans Day Ceremony
Saturday, November 11 at 10 a.m.
Iowa State Capitol Memorial Grounds (south of Capitol), 1200 East Walnut, Des Moines
This ceremony, hosted by Larry Nehring Detachment #103 will honor ALL veterans.
Iowa Events Center
Veterans Service Organizations event
Saturday, November 11 at 11 a.m.
Iowa Events Center, 833 5th Avenue, Des Moines
Keynote speaker: Gail Graham, director of the VA Central Iowa Health Care System
Iowa Veterans Home
Veterans Day Program
Saturday, November 11 at 11 a.m.
Iowa Veterans Home, 1301 Summit Street, Marshalltown
Guest speaker is Ray G. Hamilton, a former Marine Corps jet pilot, who had more than 245 Vietnam combat missions in 1967-1968. He is also a retired FBI agent, who served 29 years with the bureau.
Des Moines Civic Center
Star Spangled Salute to Veterans 2017
Sunday, November 12, 2 p.m.
Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St, Des Moines
This Veterans Day concert by the Iowa Military Veterans Band is free and open to the public, with general admission seating.