A special year for West Milford veterans

West Milford. The West Milford veterans got a permanent hom ein the building that was once the Lake Melody Refreshment Stand, which be dedicated on Veteran’s Day.

| 09 Nov 2022 | 10:14

Today, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day – the day dedicated annually to honor all veterans who are alive and living a retired life.

In recent years there has been confusion about the observance with Memorial Day, which is dedicated to remembering all military personnel who sacrificed their lives while they were on military duty for the country. West Milford, in the nation’s tradition since the end of World War I, will observe Veterans Day at 11 a.m. with a ceremony at Veterans Park, giving special recognition to all veterans attending.

It is a special year for West Milford’s veterans who served overseas and are still alive. They belong to the unit known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). As the title indicates, to belong to this group one must have served overseas while being in one of the nation’s military branches. The VFW is finally getting a permanent home – the building that once was the Lake Melody Refreshment stand on Cahill Cross Road. After the Veterans Day ceremony at the park, Mayor Michele Dale and other officials and private citizens will go over to the new VFW headquarters where she will participate in a dedication and official building opening.

The West Milford American Legion, originally named Frank M. Sell American Legion Post 289 with headquarters built on Lincoln Ave. decades ago, continues to be an active organization in the community.

World War I, known at the time as “The Great War,” officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice – or temporary cessation of hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the 11th hour if the 11th day of the 11th month. For that reason, Nov. 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business at 11 a.m. In 1938, Nov. 11 was made a legal holiday. In 1954, after World War II Congress, at the urging of all veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking the word: “Armistice” and inserted the word “Veterans”. Now every year Veterans Day on Nov. 11 honors all living veterans of all wars.