Bath Holds Veteran’s Day Celebration
On Saturday, November 11th, Bath County will be holding a celebration to honor all of its’ Veterans for the first time in a long while. People will begin to gather around ten o’clock on the grass at the courthouse in Warm Springs, to enjoy music from some members of the Bath County High School Band, and connecting with friends and neighbors. The ceremony of recognition for the Veterans will begin at 11:11.
A brief history of the holiday tells us the day was set aside to remember when the fighting of World War One ceased. At that time, the war had been considered “the war to end all wars”. Though it was not officially over until the Treaty of Versailles was signed the following June in 1919, the Armistice, or “cessation of hostilities” had begun at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.
A year later, President Woodrow Wilson, who happens to have been born in Staunton, and lived there until he was two, proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with these words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”
In 1938, the holiday became a legal one, and in 1954 the name was changed to Veteran’s Day in order to honor Veteran’s from World War Two and Korea as well. Since then, Vets from Vietnam, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan are all honored on this day.
On Saturday, the ceremony will include a dedication of the monument in front of the sheriff’s office and recognition of the present Veterans. Chairs are provided for veterans, and others who might like to sit for the ceremony should bring a lawn chair. The committee who worked together to produce this event, was led by Martha Glenn of Millboro. She described how it came about.
“I grew up in Suffolk Virginia, and I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout and was very involved in Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. We had parades and ended up with a celebration in the cemetery, and a service and so forth. And it just seemed like that was the right thing to do, and I kind of missed that.”
Mrs. Glenn said everyone one she asked to participate in any way was enthusiastic and generous. A free lunch of hotdogs, chips and a drink will be provided, and there will be cookies too. Millboro Ruritans have a flag for everyone as long as they last. And just across the street at the Bath Public library, adults and children can make a special red poppy. Poppies have long been part of remembering veterans because they are the flowers that grew on the deserted battlefields, particularly Flanders Fields. The Bath County Historical Society Museum is a third place to visit as part of the celebration in addition to the library and the Courthouse lawn. There you can see their exhibit honoring local members of the armed services. In case of rain, the ceremony will moved inside to the courthouse hall.