Veterans Day was originally celebrated as Armistice Day, marking the end of World War I on the “11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month” in 1918. For that reason, it’s always celebrated on November 11th — regardless of which day of the week it falls on.
While Memorial Day honors all who died in military service, Veterans Day honors all living men and women who have served in wartime or peacetime. This makes honoring Veterans of World War ll, while we still can, an important priority.
While the percentage of US adults who are Veterans is rapidly declining because of peacetimes, 42% of all male Americans 75 years and over are Veterans.
The Villages, Florida has one of the highest concentrations of veterans of any city in America. More than 20,000 veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East now call The Villages home, making up approximately 17% of the population. Not surprisingly, there are more than 20 Veterans groups and organizations in or around The Villages, including American Legion Post 347, the world’s largest American Legion post with over 6,500 members. These organizations provide social opportunities, help vets access benefits, get healthcare, find employment, and provide opportunities to volunteer in the community.
One of the most active and passionate groups is The Villages Honor Flight which flies veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Each Veteran who takes an Honor Flight is accompanied by a guardian who travels with him or her. All Veterans are eligible to make the trips, but preference is given to the rapidly dwindling number of World War II Veterans.
Growing Bolder honors and is grateful for the service and sacrifice of all U.S. service members who selflessly put their lives on the line to keep us safe and free.
This article is featured in the November 2022 issue of The Growing Bolder Digital Digest.