The annual Veteran’s Day assembly held at the Orcas Island School on Nov. 13 was full of emotion.
As is the tradition, the school and community band played several patriotic songs, student body representatives set the “Table for a Missing Man” and a veteran speaker presented. This year’s guest was Pat Ayers.
“It is an honor to stand before you today and share my experience as a veteran and what Veteran’s Day means to me,” Ayers began.
She served as a Navy Hospital Corpsman for 12 years. She was 21 when she joined the military.
“The military taught me to respect others as well as myself. It taught me teamwork and comradery and afforded me with excellent educational opportunities and life-long experiences,” Ayers said. “We gather at events like this to honor not just recent generations of veterans but every man and woman who have honorably served or continues to serve since the American Revolution.”
This year is the 100th anniversary of when World War I concluded, at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918. Armistice Day was the original name for Veteran’s Day and it began one year following the end of the war. In 1926, Congress passed a resolution for an annual observance, and Veteran’s Day became a national holiday in 1938.
“Today is a day for civilians and, in fact, all Americans to recognize those who have given us our freedoms: the veterans of the United States Military,” Ayers said.