Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Community members in Juneau gathered at Centennial Hall Friday to recognize Veterans Day.
In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. The day recognized the armistice between the Allied nations and Germany that into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, ending World War One.
While the day originally recognized veterans of the first world war, the war thought to be the war to end all wars, in the 1950s the day was changed to Veterans Day.
Friday's ceremony was hosted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars post #5559, and Amercian Legion Auke Bay post #25. Commanders of both posts, David Caroll and Duff Mitchell respectively, provided the welcome.
"Juneau has 2336 veterans.. that's what the US Census tells us, so, Juneau is a veterans community. Today, we honor our community's veterans and as we all know, Veterans Day as a time to reflect on the core courage, fortitude, and resiliency of countless American men and women that have served our nation," Mitchell said.
There were a couple of Korean War veterans that stood to be recognized, but when Mitchell asked if veterans of the Second World War would stand to be recognized, there were none.
Alaska Army National Guard Lt. Col. David Jurva provided the keynote address.
"We gather here today to celebrate Veterans Day on the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War One on the 11th hour, the 11th Day on the 11th month. Any day is a good day to thank the veteran further service, however, particularly important on November 11, otherwise known as Veterans Day. Initially meant to celebrate world peace and the end of World War One, Veteran's Day has evolved into a holiday honoring current and former members of the US forces.
"A day in the life of a service member is jam packed with routine, whether it be personnel actions, maintenance on a piece of military equipment, or even mopping floors or decks. This is not glamorous work, but it is required work. Required to maintain the strength of military and of our country. They do this work with little complaint, but this is what duty and commitment looks like. In a recent and in a recent poll, the number one reason still to join the military was to service of their country. That is not PR, that is who they are."
Juneau Soloist Elizabeth Djajalle sung the National Anthem, Alaska Army National Guard Chaplin Lt. Col. Kirk Thorsteinson offered the benediction and invocation.
"Veterans and friends, remember, whenever, wherever, we're meant to be together," Thorsteinson said.