Veterans Day is on Sunday, and several events are in the works in upcoming days to honor military veterans.
Veterans, active duty military personnel and others are invited to the following events.
- Gardendale High School will host a Veterans Day recognition program at the school on Thursday at 10 a.m. The program is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served afterward.
- Bryan Elementary School PTA is hosting a Veterans Day program at the school at 6:30 p.m.
- The Gardendale-Martha Moore Public Library will host a reception Friday, 2-4 p.m., in honor of military veterans, Rosie the Riveters and military supporters.
- North Jefferson Middle School will host a Veterans Day program Friday, 2 p.m., at the school.
- The Gardendale Historical Society and the Gardendale Beautification Commission will host a wreath-laying ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park on Sunday at 3 p.m. The park is between Decatur Highway and Main Street next to Captain D’s.
- At Applebee’s restaurants, including the one in Fultondale, military veterans and active duty military members eat for free on Sunday. Bring military identification or be in uniform.
- American Legion Post 255 will host a Veterans Day ceremony Monday at 10 a.m. at the North Jefferson Memorial Wall. The memorial is at the intersection of Decatur Highway and Stouts Road.
- In Gardendale, individuals are encouraged to drop off flowers at Veterans Memorial Park anytime between now and Veterans Day.
- Bryan Elementary School is hosting a wellness program for veterans at the school at 8 a.m.
The holiday honoring those who are often forgotten has a long history.
Veterans Day began as Armistice Day in 1919 following the end of World War I. The war officially ended on June 28, 1919, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. However, fighting had ended seven months earlier — on Nov. 11 — when an armistice went into effect that caused hostilities to cease between the Allied nations and Germany.
Armistice Day was recognized annually, and became a legal federal holiday in 1938.
In 1954, veterans service organizations urged Congress to change the wording of the holiday because World War II saw the largest mobilization of soldiers, airmen, Marines and sailors in United States history. Congress approved legislation to change the Nov. 11 holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day in order to honor American veterans of all U.S. wars.