LRE community honors Veterans Day

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Karl Kurtz prepares for the Veterans Day ceremony at the community center at Lake Riverside Estates Wednesday, Nov. 11. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

Retired Army Spc. Karl Kurtz organized and presented a Veterans Day ceremony at Lake Riverside Estates Wednesday, Nov. 11, that was attended by friends, neighbors, veterans and their families.

“Seven decades ago, in 1950, brave Americans defended a far-off land that was under attack. For three years, they fought what many still call the Forgotten War. We are here to remember. We are here to honor not just those brave Korean War veterans, but all who have served in the U.S. military since our country’s founding,” Kurtz said.

On Nov. 11, at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War, World War I ended. Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiegne, France.

Originally called Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1919, is the anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and it became a national holiday beginning in 1938.

Poppies are ready to disperse to visitors at the Veterans Day ceremony at the community center at Lake Riverside Estates. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Karl Kurtz, left, and Henry Sokol, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1873, lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the Veterans Day ceremony at the community center at Lake Riverside Estates. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Veteran Rich Handy salutes the flag at the Veterans Day ceremony at the community center at Lake Riverside Estates. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Kathy Blair sings the national anthem at the Veterans Day ceremony held at the community center at Lake Riverside Estates. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

In 1954, the 83rd U.S. Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.”

With the approval of this legislation, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

“Not all veterans have seen war, but a common bond that they share is an oath in which they expressed their willingness to die defending this nation,” Kurtz said.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Henry Sokol, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1873 and the national anthem was performed by Kathy Blair, bringing cheers from attendees.

Veterans, those currently serving and their families were recognized with smiles and applause.

Kurtz’s organization of the ceremony was a “labor of love and honor,” he said.

Poppies were presented as gifts to all in attendance.

“Those of us gathered here to observe Veterans Day have already indicated our support for the outstanding men and women who have served our country. Tell veterans directly that you love them. That you appreciate them. That you are grateful for their service,” Kurtz said in conclusion.

Diane Sieker can be reached by email at dsieker@reedermedia.com.