Fighting in World War I officially came to an end in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, and 105 years later, those who serve the nation continue to be honored every Nov. 11 on Veterans Day.
Delawareans can choose from a variety of events this weekend to pay their respects.
“Veterans Day is a tribute to the sacrifices that our veterans make every single day,” said Miranda Mal, acting director of the Delaware Office of Veterans Services. “It is a day in which we pay our respects to the countless individuals who have stepped up to the challenge to defend our freedoms, values and democracy with their own lives.”
Some schools in the state also have events this week to honor past soldiers.
Mispillion Elementary School in Milford School District, for example, has for years had a Veterans Day program for students to have a deeper understanding of the holiday and what it means to serve the country.
The program is led by the school’s fifth grade students and includes a singing performance by students, essay contest winners reading about why Veterans are important to them, and a guest speaker who is a member of the Armed Forces.
Kelly Sharp, who runs the program, said this year’s guest speaker is Chief Master Sergeant Ford, who has more than 30 years of service and is currently stationed at the Dover Air Force Base.
After the performances, Veterans and students have the chance to mingle with one another.
While the assembly is only attended by the fourth and fifth graders due to the size of the gym, all students in the school are invited to honor a Veteran, Sharp said.
“This can be done by either inviting in a family member who is a Veteran to attend the program, drawing a picture and writing a thank you card to a Veteran or honoring a Veteran by adding a picture and description of service to our display in the downstairs hallway,” she said.
Sharp’s husband has been in the military for over 20 years, and their children have always understood the importance of military service and what it means to the family, she said.
“While adults often understand the importance of Veterans Day, I have found that students who do not have military members in the family often do not have the same sentiments,” she said. “I think it’s important to instill in them the values of empathy and gratitude for our military members.”
Mal said it’s important to recognize Veterans’ indomitable spirit, resilience and courage at the cost of missed holidays, family gatherings, and in the worst cases, the loss of comrades.
Here are some ways to honor veterans in Delaware this weekend:
Wednesday, Nov. 8
- Saint Mark’s High School has two Veterans Day celebrations on Wednesday. The first is a free breakfast honoring veterans, followed by a 20K challenge to raise money for a fund that offers tuition assistance to the children of active duty military and veterans. The fund is named for Corporal Stephen M. McGowan, a 1996 graduate of Saint Mark’s who was killed in Iraq in 2005. The breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. and the 20K trek starts at 10 a.m. Last year, some state legislators and several veterans jogged along the school’s gym to partake in the challenge.
Thursday, Nov. 9
- The Modern Maturity Center, 1121 Forrest Avenue in Dover, is having its 10th annual Veterans Trust Fund Dinner from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The trust fund provides emergency financial assistance to veterans. Buy tickets here.
Friday, Nov. 10
- Delaware Technical Community College is hosting a ceremony at 8 a.m. on its Stanton Campus at 400 Stanton-Christiana Road in Newark.
Saturday, Nov. 11
- From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Courageous Hearts, a mental health clinic, is hosting a Veteran’s Family Fun Day. The building is located at 8848 September Way in Lincoln.
- Delaware Veterans Memorial, 163 Cherry Lane in New Castle, will be the site of a 10:30 a.m. ceremony hosted by the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs, the Office of Veterans Services and the Delaware River & Bay Authority.
- Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7447 Rehoboth Beach is having its annual Veterans Day ceremony at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand. The event kicks off at 11 a.m.
- At noon, AMVETS Post 2 is having an event at its station located at 32592 Long Neck Road in Millsboro.
- At 2 p.m., the Vietnam Veterans of America will host a service at Kent County Veterans Memorial Park at 760-816 South Little Creek Road in Dover.
Sunday, Nov. 12
- From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Fort Miles Museum, located in Cape Henlopen State Park at 15099 Cape Henlopen Drive in Lewes, is hosting a Veterans event.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
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