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NEWS | Nov. 11, 2019

Veterans Day ceremony honors the price of freedom

By Steve Elliott 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Hundreds of veterans, military members, family and patriots turned out for a celebration of America’s veterans at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery Veterans Day Ceremony Nov. 11.

The long-standing tradition at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery included a number of musical interludes from the Texas Children's Choir and Beethoven Band, as well as a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization ceremony featuring active-duty members who were sworn in as citizens. Also featured were readings of the service creeds and singing of the service songs.

The ceremony ended with three volleys of rifle fire from the Fort Sam Houston Memorial Services Detachment and the playing of "Taps."

This is the 101st anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918. A year later, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the 11th day of the 11th month as the first commemoration of the cease-fire that brought "the war to end all wars" to its conclusion.

Although Wilson's proclamation honored "the heroism of those who died in the country's service" during World War I, 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.

Armistice Day became Veterans Day on June 1, 1954, following World War II and the Korean War, when Congress passed Public Law 380, changing the name of the commemoration to honor American veterans of all wars.