By Ruth Filz
Veterans Day/Remembrance Day is an annual observance to honor and remember the sacrifices of military personnel who have served in times of war and peacekeeping missions. Originally known as Armistice Day, it commemorates the end of World War I and celebrates the service of both living and deceased veterans. Major hostilities of World War I were formerly ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. While events and traditions may slightly vary, the central theme of the observance remains the same: to express gratitude to brave men and women for their dedication and valor. Two minutes of silence is observed at 11 a.m. on the 11th of November marking the end of World War I in remembrance of the fallen. This tradition serves as a poignant reminder of the courage, strength, and selflessness displayed by those who have served and those who continue to serve.
In 1931, an act of Canada’s parliament changed the name of Armistice Day to Remembrance Day and in 1954, the U.S. Congress passed a bill to change the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
On November 11, members of Palm Gardens RV Park in Harlingen, gathered to recognize and honor the Canadian and U.S. veterans in their park. They started with raising the Canadian and U.S. flags at 11 a.m. Residents gathered in the hall and were greeted by Paul (PJ) LaBarge who led them in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and O Canada. PJ shared information about Veterans Day and various wars our veterans have been involved in. He thanked our residents for their service.
A display of the Fallen Soldier Table was set up. This is also known as the POW/MIA or Missing Man Table. Each item on the table represents the emotions and feelings reserved for those who did not come home.
Ladies from the park’s quilt group presented the beautiful military service quilts they made for four of our veterans – Jerry Bradley, Roger Jacobs, Dianne Monk, and Kermit Tillotson. This is a tradition they have done for several years. The quilts are made possible by the generous donations of our residents for material and supplies and by the time and talent of our quilters.
The celebration ended with lunch, cupcakes, and visiting with and thanking our veterans for their service.