By Jim Hamrick, SMSgt. (USAF Retired)
Veterans Day is November 11 and will be observed for the public at 11 a.m. in Oswalt Park in Vicksburg.
This year is the 98th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice ending World War I. For many years this was known as Armistice Day. In 1954, with hostilities ending in Korea, several veterans’ groups asked President Eisenhower to drop the word Armistice and replace it with Veterans to create a day to honor all veterans of all wars. Veterans Day has become that special day to honor and remember fallen comrades while celebrating with those who returned home to build families and this great nation.
The local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5189, named after Capt. Charles E. Osborne, will be conducting its annual flag ceremony with guest speaker Major Richard R. Furney (Retired U.S. Army Major) of Vicksburg.
The local Veterans of Foreign Wars post may be small in numbers, but it remains active in support of veterans and the community. Recently, Commander Butch Wesoloski and Sr. Vice Commander Robert Rainwater completed the necessary documentation to replace antiquated 1903 Springfield bolt action rifles with new M-1 Garand semi-automatic rifles. The new rifles will improve the performance of the rifle squad at memorial services for fallen comrades.
The generosity of the greater Vicksburg community during the May fundraising Buddy Poppy sales provided increased opportunities to support other agencies assisting veterans. The Memorial Day Parade and Flag ceremony that the VFW participates in was also well attended. Many residents expressed their gratitude to the post for remembering their fallen loved ones.
The Post visited three service organizations in September making donations to South County Community Services, Vicksburg Boy Scout Troop 251 and the St. Joseph County Commission on Aging. These groups provide services to the less fortunate, especially fellow veterans.
The Post commanders are encouraging any interested veterans to visit a meeting. They are short and usually have an interesting war story or two. The meetings convene in the Community Center on the second floor at 7 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month. The November meeting will be Tuesday November 22.