Each year on Nov. 11, citizens across the country take time to honor those who have served in the nation’s military.

Initially called Armistice Day, a 1919 proclamation was made by President Woodrow Wilson, which commemorated the agreement to end the war — occurring at the at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. According to the Oregon Department of Veteran’s Affairs, the holiday was renamed in 1954 to recognize the patriotism and sacrifices of veterans who continued to serve the country.

For a brief time, the date changed from yearly to ensure a three-day weekend. However, in 1978, the original Nov. 11 date was revived to preserve the significance of the date. With Veterans Day just around the corner — Monday, Nov. 11 — area schools, groups and even restaurants are planning special events of activities.

HERMISTON

•Rocky Heights Elementary School is hosting a pair of Veterans Day assemblies. The Wednesday, Nov. 6 events run from 8:15-9:05 a.m. and 9:25-10:15 a.m. at 650 W. Standard Ave. (541-667-6600).

•People are invited to kick up their heels during Hermiston USO Night. The Saturday, Nov. 9 event runs from 7-10 p.m. at the Union Club, 201 E. Main St. Cathy Stolz, American Legion Auxiliary event co-chair, said the upstairs loft area isn’t handicapped accessible. However, she said young soldiers will assist in escorting guests up the stairs.

A fundraiser organized by American Legion Post #37, there is a $10 requested donation. The evening will feature Big Band music, dancing contests, drawings, awards, finger foods, punch and coffee. Although not required, people are encouraged to dress up in ‘40s attire.

Individuals and business can still donate items for the raffle drawing. For more information, contact Stolz at 541-571-5816 or cathystolz@gmail.com.

•The Hermiston Chamber of Commerce is hosting a free Veterans Day Breakfast for veterans and their family members. The meal is Monday, Nov. 11 from 8-9:30 a.m. at the Hermiston Community Center, 415 S. Highway 395.

The annual event, which honors all veterans, also will recognize the 75th anniversary of D-Day (changing the course of World War II, allied forces on June 6, 1944, invaded France by storming the beaches at Normandy). In addition to breakfast, the celebration will feature presentations by the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guard, Rep. Greg Smith, Joe Franell, who served in the U.S. Army, and Rev. Dean Hackett of Living Faith Church.

Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP by contacting 541-567-6151, info@hermistonchamber.com or via links on the chamber’s website or Facebook page.

BOARDMAN

Local veterans will be recognized during a program Thursday at 10 a.m. in the gymnasium at Sam Boardman Elementary School, 301 Wilson Road. Veterans and their guests are welcome to attend (541-481-7383).

ECHO

The Echo School District will honor veterans Thursday beginning with a community parade at 1 p.m. It will start in front of the school on Gerome Street and continue down Main Street before returning to the school. At 2 p.m., an assembly in the school’s gymnasium will recognize veterans in attendance. Also, there will be special speakers and music.

To provide veteran information, contact Billie Parker or fill out a card upon arrival in the foyer. (541-376-8436, bjparker@echosd5.org).

UMATILLA

The Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington are setting the table for a free turkey dinner with all the fixings for area veterans. The meal will be served Monday at 4 p.m. at 146 Columbia St. Veterans may bring an additional loved one or friend with them to the meal.

Girl Scouts and their leaders look forward to having a chance to serve dinner to area veterans as a way to express appreciation for their service to our country. Veterans are encouraged to to enjoy a time of food and fellowship.

Due to limited seating, reservations are required by calling Denise at 541-579-0768.

MISSION

All veterans and military personnel are invited to a free Veterans Day Buffet. It’s available Monday, Nov. 11 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Traditions Dining at Wildhorse Resort & Casino, located off Interstate 84 Exit 216. Present military identification or proof of service for a complimentary buffet or entrée. The buffet costs $20.95 for non-military guests.

Also, there’s a special promotion in the casino for a free bonus game. To qualify, be sure to swipe your Club Wild card at the e-Station to activate the free game.

For more information, including a full menu, visit www.wildhorseresort.com.

WALLA WALLA

The public is invited to a pair of events honoring veterans at the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Administration Medical Center, 77 Wainwright Drive.

Presented by the Veteran Canteen Services, a Veterans Day Recognition event is Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the coffee shop, located in the Building 143 lobby. Cake, coffee and punch will be served.

Also, a reception for the Women Veterans Art Project is Friday from 4-5 p.m., also at the coffee shop. Light refreshments will be served.

As part of National Veterans & Military Families Month, the purpose of the project is to educate the community about the service of female veterans through art. The WVAP has held exhibitions in the Pentagon in Washington D.C., during Fleet Week in Philadelphia, and at many colleges, libraries and community centers across the country.

For questions, contact Linda Wondra at 509-525-5200 or linda.wondra@va.gov.

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