Veteran's Day Apathy

By: Melissa Reynolds
By: Melissa Reynolds

The Webster's definition for apathy is lack of interest or emotion. I'd say probably some people fall into that category-even after last year's rise in patriotism.

Flags are flying and patriotism's running high, for some.

"Do you know what today is? What's today? Today's Monday. Anything else? 11-1," Jason Simon says.

"Ah, today is Veteran's Day," Andy East says.

That's right, but, the crowd at Monday morning's ceremony was thin.

"I think there should be a lot more here," Wilkenson says.

"If they appreciate the country, they ought to appreciate the people who fought to make it so more people show up for Santa Claus than this," James Gambill says.

While veterans are here remembering their fight for freedom, hundreds of other people are looking for Veteran's Day sales, or enjoying a day off.

"Whatever they are enjoying they need to associate that with the fact that somebody else has made a sacrifice so the freedom they enjoy can continue," Congressman Bob Goodlatte says.

"In the past few years I've seen more participation by a great many citizens and we need to make sure we don't fall back into that circumstance of taking for granted people who dedicated significant portions of their lives," Goodlatte continues.

"I think it should be an official holiday and everything should be closed," Hughes says.

There are still many local men and women fighting for our country. Company C just headed out last week. Extended Web Coverage

Origins of Veterans Day

  • In 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. This site, on a hillside overlooking the Potomac River and the city of Washington, became the focal point of reverence for America's veterans.

  • Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in England and France, where an unknown soldier was buried in each nation's highest place of honor (in England, Westminster Abbey; in France, the Arc de Triomphe).

  • These memorial gestures all took place on Nov. 11, giving universal recognition to the celebrated ending of World War I fighting at 11 a.m., Nov. 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month).

  • The day became known as "Armistice Day.” Armistice Day officially received its name in America in 1926 through a Congressional resolution.

  • It became a national holiday 12 years later by similar Congressional action. If the idealistic hope had been realized that World War I was "the War to end all Wars," November 11 might still be called Armistice Day. But, only a few years after the holiday was proclaimed, war broke out in Europe.

  • Sixteen and one-half million Americans took part. Four hundred seven thousand of them died in service, more than 292,000 in battle.

  • Realizing that peace was equally preserved by veterans of WW II and Korea, Congress was requested to make this day an occasion to honor those who have served America in all wars. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming Nov. 11 as Veterans Day.

  • The focal point for official, national ceremonies for Veterans Day continues to be the memorial amphitheater built around the Tomb of the Unknowns. At 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, a combined color guard representing all military services executes "Present Arms" at the tomb.

  • The nation's tribute to its war dead is symbolized by the laying of a presidential wreath. The bugler plays "taps." The rest of the ceremony takes place in the amphitheater.

Source: contributed to this report.

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