Take time for veterans at parade, monument

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There’s plenty of activities here to honor Veterans Day in Lancaster.
It should be.
Veterans Day is the time our nation, from Main Street, USA to Washington and across our county, to salute military veterans.
The federal holiday is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world and falls on Nov. 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.
Major hostilities of World War I formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the Germans’ signing of the Armistice.
Locally, there are plenty of activities to salute our veterans.
One takes place Saturday with the annual Veterans Day parade in downtown Lancaster.
The parade, which has drawn some 80 entries in the past, begins at 10 a.m. at Dunlap Street, proceeds south along Main Street and ends at the Lancaster American Legion Post 31 building at the Lancaster County Fairgrounds.
A program there will include patriotic music and presentation of the flag among other displays of honor to veterans.
Robin Helms, director of Lancaster County Veterans Affairs, encourages all to participate.
“We’re hoping for a good turnout,” Helms said. “I want the streets to be lined from (Dunlap Street) to the American Legion. We have enough citizens here in Lancaster County to do that.”
Dianne Killmer, chairwoman of veteran volunteer services for the local Daughters of the American Revolution, is a Veterans Day parade veteran and is looking forward to Saturday morning.
She noted veterans put their lives on the line in service to their country.
“They gave all,” Killmer said. “That’s why I try to give back.”
There’s another way to give back in support of our veterans.
In honor of Veterans Day, the dedication of the Heath Springs Area Veterans Monument will be held at 2 p.m. on Nov. 12.
The 17-foot tall granite monument’s base includes 352 names of locals who have served or are still serving in the armed forces.
The eight-sided midsection of the monument features the names of the seven major conflicts the United States has been involved in, beginning with the Spanish American War and continuing through the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“This shows that human sacrifices made in one war are no greater than in another,” said Mark Williams, the monument’s project architect.
One side of the monument has been left blank to engrave the name of a future war, if needed.
“It’s a silent reminder that we’re willing to go to war for the right cause,” he said.
Dozens of names have also been engraved on the granite that graces the brick wall behind the monument with space for 51 future names.
Names are featured on the brick pavers, which create a walkway from the front of the monument and surround it.
The monument, located in the heart of Heath Springs, is a fitting tribute to our veterans and reflects the deserved dedication and honor we should give them.
We encourage you to take special time to attend the ceremonies and see for yourself. Same for the Veterans Day parade.
So little time to take for major tributes.