If you noticed the flags that lined the highway running through Riverbank this past Monday and were wondering why they were out, it was in honor of Veterans Day. For many people, it was a chance to remember that ‘freedom is not free’ and taking the time to thank a veteran was a great way to express their gratitude.
There were several celebrations going on throughout the region, including observances in Modesto, Oakdale, and Escalon to honor those that have served this great nation. This day is to honor all men and women who served the country whether they are living or have passed away. Memorial Day, held in May, specifically honors those that have died serving in the Armed Forces while Veterans Day recognizes the service of all veterans. Both are celebrated as federal holidays.
Originally on Nov. 11, 1919 it was called “Armistice Day” as the first anniversary of the end of World War I that occurred at the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” Nov. 11 later became a national holiday after Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance. It was also renamed Veterans Day. Many showed their patriotism and love for the country this past Monday by flying the American flag, thanking a veteran, or participating in a parade or celebration. One local parade began at 9 a.m. in downtown Modesto and ended at Graceada Park where there was a ceremony and vendors. U.S. Representative for California’s 10th Congressional District, Josh Harder, had a group of veterans that were honored at Mancini Bowl.
American Veterans First CEO, Marine veteran Duke Cooper, was in a parade along with other veterans that was held in Oakdale. The route took it from Lee Avenue to Pontiac Street and ended at Fish Park where the celebration continued with a ceremony and luncheon.
The City of Escalon held a parade that went from Coley Avenue to First Street and then right down through Main Street. The celebration continued at the Community Center that had a guest speaker, festive music, a wreath ceremony and 21 gun salute followed by a barbecue lunch.
There are many veterans that reside in Riverbank and surrounding towns that have served this great nation and have sacrificed for the common good.