Veterans Day provides plenty of opportunities to thank a vet.
By Mary O’KEEFE
Twenty-one years after the “war to end all wars” – World War I – Adolf Hitler’s German army invaded Poland and World War II began.
WWII spanned from 1939 to 1945 and, at the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, veterans from American Legion Post 288 and Veterans of Foreign War Post 1614 are honoring those of the “greatest generation” this Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
The term “Greatest Generation” is the title of a book penned by journalist/author Tom Brokaw. WWII is often referred to when describing the American spirit of perseverance. It was a time when men eagerly signed up to serve in the military to protect their country and women served alongside their military counterparts. It was also a time when Rosie the Riveter’s “We Can Do It” attitude helped to keep planes in the air and ships on the sea.
On Nov. 11, Veterans Day, the American Legion and VFW will host a celebration of “America’s Greatest Generation” for local WWII veterans at Two Strike Park at 3 p.m.
“We have invited 41 [WWII veterans],” said Lynn McGinnis, veteran and emcee for the event.
Each veteran will receive a certificate from the National WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. Currently McGinnis has responses from over 20 veterans who plan to attend. The organizers also have found Challenge Coins that commemorate WWII service. Challenge Coins are given to members of the military or, in some cases, supporters of an organization.
The event on Nov. 11 at Two Strike Park will include the presentation of certificates and coins and a flag retirement led by Boy Scout Troop 288. There will also be a sing-along in the middle of the program.
“Veterans Day celebrates all veterans, whether they served in combat or not,” McGinnis said, “whereas Memorial Day is more somber.”
Later in the evening the recognition of the 70th anniversary of WWII will continue at American Legion Post 288 where WWII vets will be invited to attend a Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce mixer. The WWII veterans will be at the mixer and available to talk to visitors at the Post.
The American Legion Hall is located at 4011 La Crescenta Ave. The cost for the tickets to the CVCOC mixer is $7 for Chamber members and $9 for non-members. For information contact the CVCOC office at (818) 248-4957.
There will be other ways that veterans will be honored and recognized throughout the area. Sport Clips at 890 Town Center Drive, Unit A in La Cañada Flintridge is offering free haircuts for active and retired military personnel as part of a nationwide campaign and will donate $1 for all haircuts given. Sport Clips partnered with the VFW as part of their “Help a Hero” program. They raise funds to provide scholarships for use at post-secondary schools including trade schools for active-duty members of the military and veterans.
“In 2013, Sport Clips proudly partnered with the VFW to expand the focus of our national ‘Help A Hero’ fundraising campaign to introduce the VFW’s ‘Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship’ program,” stated a press release from Sports Clips. “By providing scholarships for use at post-secondary schools including trade schools our goal is to continue our strong support of the military while making the transition from military life to the civilian workplace a little easier.”
Chateau Salon at 3815 Ocean View Blvd. in Montrose will also be offering free haircuts for all veterans on Veterans Day. For more information visit www.chateausalon.com.
On Saturday, Nov. 14 Keller Williams Realty at 842 Foothill Blvd. will be collecting items to fill “Thank a Solder” care boxes. Boxes will be sent to all branches of the military. The collection will take place from 9 a.m. to noon.