Veterans Day Wreath Ceremony Held

Thursday, November 14, 2013
The annual Veterans Day wreath ceremony was held Monday, Nov. 11 at the courthouse in Piggott. Those taking part in placing the wreath this year were, from left: Piggott VFW Post Commander Steve Tate; VFW Auxiliary President Pam Wayer and American Legion Commander John Harmon.

Clay County residents took a moment to remember those who have served their country on Monday, Nov. 11 as Veterans Day was marked for 2013. The national remembrance, once known as Armistice Day, is marked on the stroke of the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month and serves to remember all those who have served our country.

Each Veterans Day the local VFW and American Legion posts join forces in hosting a wreath ceremony at the flag pole on the lawn of the courthouse in Piggott. Monday the ceremonial wreath was placed at the base of the flagpole in memory of all those who have served, by Pam Wayer, president of the VFW Auxiliary; John Harmon, Commander of the local American Legion and Steve Tate, Commander of the local VFW.

Prior to the traditional wreath ceremony, a special presentation was held. During the ceremony Veterans Services officer Tommy Huggins presented a plaque to Clay County Judge Gary Howell. The plaque contains the names of the individuals, businesses and entities which donated money toward the construction of the new flagpole, constructed on the courthouse lawn in 2009.

Chris Book, a member of the PHS Marching Mohawk Band, once again played "Taps" for the Veteran's Day wreath ceremony at the courthouse in Piggott on Monday, Nov. 11. A senior at PHS, Book has handled the chore the past several years, and in appreciation was later presented with a plaque and gift certificate by American Legion Commander John Harmon. Chris is the son of Mark and Gayla Book.

Howell accepted the plaque on behalf of the county, and donors, and noted it will be placed at a location of honor within the courthouse lobby.

Afterward, and following comments from several of those on hand, the wreath was placed and Taps was played by Chris Book of the Piggott High School Marching Mohawk band.

Later, the VFW and American Legion hosted an open house at the War Memorial Building and fed some 200 veterans and their family members. During the open house Book was also recognized by organizers, as they presented him with a certificate and a gift card in appreciation of his stirring renditions of Taps at the annual ceremony.

President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Nov. 11 as Armistice Day in 1919, setting it aside as a day "to be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory."

The day was originally set aside for observances, such as parades and public meetings, as the country took a moment from the world of business to remember. Congress officially recognized the date as the end of World War I by passing a concurrent resolution to that effect on June 4, 1926.

Lawmakers later approved an act on May 13, 1938 which set Nov. 11 in each year as a legal holiday, to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be celebrated and known as "Armistice Day."

Although it was originally set aside to honor veterans of World War I, in 1954 the 83rd Congress amended the act by striking the word Armistice and replacing it with the word Veterans. With approval of the legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor all American veterans of all wars.

In October of that year President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation.

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