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Home : News : News
NEWS | Nov. 1, 2018

On 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, tributes to veterans abound in S.A.

By Robert Goetz 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, officially ended World War I, but an armistice more than seven months earlier is generally regarded as the conclusion of “the war to end all wars.”

Nov. 11 marks the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, the end of hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in a war that resulted in the deaths of more than 18 million military members and civilians, including more than 100,000 Americans. 

Although President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day in November 1919, it was not until 1938 that Armistice Day was designated as a legal holiday. Sixteen years later, at the urging of veterans service organizations, Congress changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day, and Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Veterans Day now pays tribute to everyone who served honorably in the military in wartime and in peacetime, especially living veterans, for their contributions to national security.

Veterans Day will be commemorated this year with observances throughout the United States.

Some of these events will be featured during the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce’s two-week-long tribute to the military, Celebrate America’s Military, including the 19th annual U.S. Military Veterans Parade and Wreath Laying at the Alamo from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 10; Veterans Day at the Alamo on Nov. 11; and the Bexar County Buffalo Soldiers Commemorative Ceremony from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Nov. 11 at the San Antonio National Cemetery, 517 Paso Hondo St.

Brig. Gen. Laura Lenderman, 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio commander, will serve as grand marshal of the U.S. Military Veterans Parade and Wreath Laying.

During Veterans Day at the Alamo, visitors are encouraged to stop by Cavalry Courtyard on the Alamo grounds to commemorate and thank those who have selflessly served their country.

The Buffalo Soldiers’ commemorative ceremony on Veterans Day will be followed by refreshments and a viewing of the encampment and artifacts at the Buffalo Soldiers Memorial Park, 1602 Wyoming St. at Palmetto Street. The Bexar County Buffalo Soldiers preserve the memory of the former slaves, freed men and black Civil War veterans who belonged to six military regiments created after the Civil War to bring order to the West. 

Another event planned for Veterans Day that is part of Celebrate America’s Military is a concert in Hangar 9 at Brooks City-Base, 8081 Inner Circle Road. Members of the Air Force Band of the West will join the San Antonio Symphony in a free concert of patriotic favorites from 7-9 p.m. Nov. 11.

At JBSA, Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery’s Veterans Day ceremony is set for 9:30 a.m. Nov. 11.

The Veterans Day National Ceremony is planned at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 at Arlington National Cemetery. The event is highlighted by a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns, the symbol of Veterans Day. The Tomb of the Unknowns was once known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to honor an unknown American Soldier who fought and died in World War I and was buried on Nov. 11, 1921, in Arlington National Cemetery.

Two unidentified American servicemen who died in World War II and the Korean War joined the unknown Soldier from World War I in 1958. A fourth serviceman, an unknown Soldier from the Vietnam War, was buried next to his fallen comrades in 1984.