On November 11, 1918, at approximately 11 a.m., armistice was officially called marking the end of World War I. Having been deemed “the war to end all wars,” people from all around the world rejoiced and celebrated. Shortly after, President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11 as Armistice Day. Then in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day to honor all those who have served and are serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Today, there are approximately 19 million U.S. veterans which represents less than 10% of the U.S. adult population. These brave men and women selflessly place their lives on the line for our freedom, often leaving their families and comforts behind. They recognize that sacrifice and struggle is necessary to protect the American way, freedom, and our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. While we give thanks and honor their service, we must also be willing to continue their fight and share in the responsibility of protecting freedom here at home. We can do this by voting in elections, providing service to others, and speaking out against those that would undermine our American culture, our Constitution, and the ideals upon which this great country was founded.
As a sign of reverenced appreciation to our Riverton veterans, the city has recently established a veteran’s memorial at the Riverton City Cemetery. The name of every veteran buried there has been indelibly etched into these magnificent granite markers. Additionally, each year we pay tribute to those who have served our nation in our annual Veteran’s Day program. It will be held this year on November 11 at 7 p.m. at the Sandra N. Lloyd Community Center. In recent years, we have started a new tradition by participating in the Wreaths Across America program each December. It provides residents with the opportunity to sponsor decorative wreaths that will adorn the gravesite of every veteran buried in the Riverton City Cemetery. If you’d like to sponsor a wreath for a veteran’s grave, visit rivertonutah.gov/wreaths.
As Veterans Day approaches, and as we enter the holiday season, I pray that we can all reflect on our blessings and freedoms which are protected by those that have served in the United States Armed Forces. It is on their watch that we are able to relax, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy peace.
To all the veterans that call Riverton home, and even those that don’t, thank you for the sacrifices you have made. You are owed a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. Your services have not been forgotten and they shall never be. God bless you all.