On Nov. 11, 1918, Germany and the Allies signed an Armistice. The guns of World War I’s Western Front finally fell silent. After more than four years, the so-called Great War – in which an estimated 15 million to 18 million people died – was essentially over.
It was 101 years ago this Monday.
Observe Veterans Day at the Natatorium
We in the United States now observe Veterans Day each Nov. 11, paying tribute – as well we should – to all those who have served our nation in uniform, both in war and in peace.
But the remembrance of World War I remains central to the occasion, which is called Armistice Day in much of the world.
We invite you to the 23rd annual Veterans Day ceremony outside the War Memorial Natatorium, at 2815 Kalakaua Ave. in Waikiki.
It’s Monday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. – the legendary 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, when the Armistice took effect.
The Natatorium is the state’s official memorial to more than 10,000 men and women from Hawaii who served in World War I, the so-called “War to End All Wars.”
The keynote speaker is Marine Sgt. Maj. Charles E. Wells, a veteran of deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan and now base sergeant major at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. He and speakers representing veterans groups will honor the service of soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and coast guards throughout U.S. history, especially those from or serving in Hawaii and those who served in World War I.
The Navy’s Pacific Fleet Band, the Celtic Kula Pipe Band of Hawai’i and a color guard from U.S. Army Pacific will participate; there will also be a flyover by an aircraft from Vintage Aviation.
The one-hour event is organized this year by American Legion John R. Rowe Post 17. (Post 17 has a direct connection to the War Memorial Natatorium. John Rowe was the first person from Hawaii killed in World War I.) The post has support from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8616, other veterans groups and the Friends of the Natatorium.
You’ll Be Glad You Came
Many schools and employers are closed on Monday for Veterans Day. Bring the kids; we invite them to shake a veteran’s hand and thank him or her for serving our country.