November 11 marks an important day in American history. It marks the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I. Veterans Day was originally formed as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans – living or dead.
There are over 18 million veterans in the United States, 7.3 percent of the American population over 18 years of age. The percentage of O’Fallon residents (over 18 years old) that are veterans is well over double the national average – 19.4 percent. As such, the celebration of Veterans Day has an added importance in the City of O’Fallon.
I want to encourage the entire O’Fallon community to help us celebrate this year’s Veterans Day. The Annual Veterans Day Parade begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11 at the O’Fallon Community Park. The Parade will end at the O’Fallon VFW Post 805, 221 West First St.
In addition to the Parade, the annual Veterans Day Program will be held on Monday, Nov. 12 at 11 a.m. at the Veterans’ Monument, 737 East Wesley Drive.
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The Veterans Day Program on Monday, Nov. 12 will include the recognition of the new inscriptions to the monument; a flag raising ceremony; participation from the fifth-grade music classes from O’Fallon District 90; St. Clare School Chorus; the OTHS AFJ ROTC Program; VFW Post 805; Miss O’Fallon Adriana Scagliarini; Miss Kat Rubush; Chaplain Anthony Angell, USAF 375 AMW/HC, and the USAF Honor Guard Rifle Team, in addition to many others. The featured guest will be Major General John C. Flourney Jr., Chief of Staff, US TRANSCOM.
Please bring your own lawn chairs. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held at the First Baptist Church of O’Fallon, 1111 E. US 50. For more information about the ceremony, please visit the Monument web site at www.ofallonveteransmonument.org.
I hope to see many of you at these events!
In other news, a group of local citizens, businesses, and civic groups will be hosting a free Thanksgiving meal at Faith Lutheran Church, 520 E. Highway 50, on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 22 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
I encourage all those who may be hungry, lonely, or are not able to afford a Thanksgiving meal to come and enjoy a full stomach while spending time with others in the O’Fallon community. My wife Nancy and I will help with many others to serve food at this meal.
The group that organizes this meal is seeking donations in the form of food or volunteer labor for food preparation, service, and cleaning. Items in need for the event include:
• Turkeys (Whole or Breast)
• Canned Corn
• Canned Green Beans
• Chicken Broth
• Assorted Desserts
• Aluminum Foil/Saran Wrap
Food and monetary donations can be dropped off between now and Nov. 10 at Benedick Title Insurance, 1004 S. Lincoln Ave., Ste. 9. Monetary donations must be made payable to the O’Fallon Community Food Pantry.
As residents of O’Fallon, you should always be able to reach out to your elected officials and ask questions about what is happening in O’Fallon. Having open communications is important to me and something I care very deeply about. Thank you for reading, and please remember, my door is always open!