The Woodward News

November 11, 2012

Veterans Day began as Armistice Day

Gary Engel
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — What began as "Armistice Day" following the end of World War I has become Veterans Day, remembered on Nov. 11 every year.

According to the U.S. Army's Center of Military History (, Armistice Day was set aside to commemorate the end of The Great War (World War I). The Treaty of Versailles was signed in the 11th hour of the 11th day in the 11th month in 1918 to close the curtain on the conflict.

Then, on Nov. 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first 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 ... "

Army historians said the day's initial concept included 2 minutes of silence at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, with parades held and public meetings conducted.

The legal holiday became Veterans Day on June 1, 1954, when President Dwight Eisenhower signed legislation which changed the name.

Schools Recognize Veterans

Area schools are helping students and the public recall the sacrifices of veterans with activities to remember their service.

Some schools confine the activities to classrooms, while others put on public  music presentations and introduce and recognize veterans.

Some have guest speakers. This year, they include Rick Dominic, the chaplain of the Oklahoma National Guard, who was set to talk about his experience of comforting families who lost someone they loved in combat. He is scheduled to be at Mooreland Monday.

Also Monday, at Sharon-Mutual in the old Mutual gym, Sharon Baptist Church Pastor Ken McKinley plans to talk about the positive attributes gained through serving others - attributes the veterans possess.

Desert Shield/Desert Storm participant and Marine Bobby Giger was to be in Fargo last Thursday to talk about the recollections of his Mideast duty.

Here are some of the activities


At 9:30 a.m. Monday, the 3 elementary campuses will gather at Woodward High School to conduct a combined music program, with its purpose to give thanks for a job well done. Among the selections will be "Heart of America;" the "Military Medley," which recognizes each branch of the armed services; and "Taps."


Assemblies will be held at 9 a.m. Monday in the high school auditorium and at 10 a.m. for the elementary students at the community's veterans memorial park, which is downtown on Main next to City Hall. At both, vocal music will be presented and veterans recognized. At the high school assembly, guest speaker will be Rick Dominic, chaplain for the Oklahoma Army National Guard, who will relate his experiences while serving the families of veterans who died in the line of duty.

The elementary has no guest speaker this year.


On Monday, Longfellow Elementary commemoration is set for 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the school gyms for its veterans' recognition. Second-graders sing in the early session and third-graders in the afternoon gathering.

At 10 a.m. in the middle school library, the AMS Student Council will begin taking registrations from veterans so they may be recognized starting at 11 a.m. The registration is being conducted so the student council will know the branch of the military the vets were in and their dates of serving. During a meal for the service men and women, also at 11 a.m., the student council will recognize those who registered and the 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade choir will sing.

At 1 p.m. in the high school auditorium, the high school ROTC will recognize veterans.


The program begins at 10 a.m. Monday in the auditorium. Highlights include posting of the Colors by John Appleton, Julian Aguilar and Juan Rivera, followed by the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner and Battle Hymn of the Republic by the school chorus. Students in 1st through 6th Grades will conduct a vocal musical review of patriotic songs, and Aguilar and Rivera, senior National Honor Society (NHS) members, will introduce veterans. Closing and a moment of silence will be led by Shelby Waugh, senior NHS member. Taps will then be played by Buffalo residents Curtis and Steven Conner.


Veterans are invited for lunch in the cafeteria at noon Monday, then they will be recognized in the high school auditorium at 1 p.m.


Monday at 12:30 p.m. in the old Mutual gym, Sharon Baptist Church Pastor Ken McKinley will discuss the positives of a life of service.


Activities are at 1 p.m. Monday in the school auditorium. Veterans will be recognized and the high school choir will sing.


A program will be conducted by the high school choir beginning at 1 p.m. Monday in the north high school building. Veterans will be recognized.


Programs will be scheduled for Monday, but times and details were TBD.


Activities are Nov. 14 at 9:45 a.m. in the new gym. The program will be conducted by several groups of students singing, and veterans will be recognized. At noon, vets will be served lunch in the school cafeteria.