Getting an early start on the Veterans Day recognition, the Riverbank Chapter of Royal Neighbors of America #9890, hosted its annual luncheon honoring local vets at the Stanislaus County Veterans Services Center, on Coffee Road in Modesto.
It was the 12th Veterans Luncheon, and has been held in the Modesto facility for the past few years. It started out in the Riverbank Community Center, but the Modesto location was jam packed on Saturday, Nov. 9.
The meal was provided by O’Brien’s Catering, with both Bill O’Brien and Riverbank Mayor Richard O’Brien wrangling the food.
Volunteers from Royal Neighbors as well as other organizations and individuals helped serve the food. The menu consisted of cheesy broccoli, fruit salad, green salad, rice, chicken and beef.
Before the official start of the event, music was provided by Fred Stepp and Into the Wind, a vocal/string band.
Opening ceremonies were conducted by Royal Neighbors Chapter President Diane Talbert. There was a Pledge of Allegiance and a blessing on the food by Rev. Jeremiah Williams, who also sang the National Anthem.
Lunch was then offered, with members of the Enochs High School Forensics Club helping serve veterans who needed assistance.
Following the meal, former history teacher Ron Harris narrated a PowerPoint presentation on the ‘History of the American Veteran.’
Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day.
It is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on Nov. 11, for honoring military veterans.
It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day which are celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I.
Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.
At the urging of major U.S. veteran organizations, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.
Veterans Day is distinct from Memorial Day, a holiday in May, in that Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who have died while in military service.
There is another military holiday, Armed Forces Day, a U.S. remembrance that also occurs in May, which honors those currently serving in the U.S. military.