ALBANY — On the date first set aside to remember the end of World War I, Albany American Legion organizations will honor all who have served their country in the armed forces on Monday, Veterans Day.
Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Young, who in September became the new sergeant major for Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, will speak in a 9 a.m. program at American Legion Post 512, 815 Willie Pitts Jr. Road.
“We would like to have the public come out and meet the new sergeant major,” said Henry Mathis, service officer for the post and the Legion’s 2nd District. “We’d like for the community to meet him and welcome him to Albany and listen to what he has to say about service to his country.”
Young, a Marine for 28 years, is a native of Baltimore, coming to Albany from Camp Lejeune. While in his current position, he will be the senior enlisted advisor to Col. Alphonso Trimble, commanding officer of MCLB-Albany.
While Veterans Day has been designated as a holiday since 1954, the history stretches back 100 years. The first Armistice Day was observed on Nov. 11, 1919, a year after the guns fell silent after four years of fighting between the Central Powers that included Germany, Turkey and Austria-Hungary and the Allies that included France, Britain and the United States.
World War I hostilities ceased on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month, although the treaty that officially ended the war was signed on June 28, 1919.
In 1954, Congress amended the 1938 act that designated Armistice Day as a federal holiday and renamed it as Veterans Day. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the legislation in June of that year, making it a day to honor all of the nation’s veterans.
For American Legion Post 30, the day will begin with the raising of the flag at 6:50 a.m. at its Walter H. Burt headquarters, 2916 Gillionville Road.
“I think it’s a day we ought to respect those who served, and for non-veterans to say thank you to those who served their country,” said Post 30 Commander Dan Brewer.
A breakfast will follow, with speaker Marine Maj. Joe Najarr (retired) and U.S. Rep. Sanford, D-Albany, or a representative from his office, on the program.
“We like to make this day special for our veterans and their families, and thank them for their sacrifices to the country,” Brewer said. “We have the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” because of them.
On Saturday, a group of 13 area veterans organizations will host a Veterans Day parade in Leesburg.