Every year we spend Veterans day remembering and honoring service members who have fought in the armed forces. Most people don’t know the history behind the federal holiday and quite frankly often confuse it for Memorial Day. But they are completely different.
For starters, it was originally called Armistice Day. And the main difference between the two is that Memorial Day is to honor those Americans who gave their lives. Veterans day is to celebrate both living veterans and those who are no longer with us. The goal is to simply thank those who have fought in our country’s service for their sacrifices.
In November of 1918, the German and Allied powers met in France to sign a document that signaled the end of World War I. After four years of war on November 11th, in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the war was finally over. The following year United States President Woodrow Wilson made an effort to publicly honor the services for those who lost their lives on Armistice Day.
In 1938 it became an official holiday, set aside to celebrate veterans of World War I. Post world War II and Korean War, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs urged that all veterans deserved to be celebrated, hence the transformation from “armistice day” to “Veterans Day”. In 1968 the Uniform Holiday Bill was signed, making sure that multiple legal holidays, including Washington’s birthday and Veterans Day observances, would take place on Mondays. This pushed Veterans Day to the fourth Monday of October.
Most Americans were not only unhappy about this but also continued to celebrate it only on November 11th. Finally, in October of 1971, a new bill was signed by President General Ford saying that Veteran’s day was returning to its original observation day.
Thank you for you service
On Nov. 9, 2019, Dean Sherman and I attended the VFW and American Legion Program. As usual, the program was well attended with representation from all age groups. The breakfast was tasty. And the strength of character and service readily apparent at the VFW.
The Speaker, Major Derek J. Plymate, Ret. reviewed his extensive military history and some of the “why” for his service. He served in many dangerous combat zones with temperatures ranging up to 140 F. On his “safe” days he supervised and moved explosives and munitions of all types. His presentation contained important reminders about service, sacrifice, loss as well as humor.
The many Scouts in attendance listened carefully to Major Plymate’s reflections on service and his profound respect for other Veterans. His simple reminder was to always express appreciation to Veterans when possible with “Thanks for your Service ” as this is appreciated. Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon clearly agrees with his reminder and observation.
Kudos to Jim Heimerl, VFW Commander and his crew in making this program a success.
Gary Goldetsky, Psy.D, LP, President, Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
Residents are invited to a breakfast honoring veterans and their service to this country. The Veterans Event is set for 9:30-11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8 at the Plymouth Creek Center, 14800 34th Ave. N. Veterans are admitted at no charge and treated to a complimentary breakfast. Cost is $9 for all nonveterans. Registration is required. Attendees may register in person at the Plymouth Creek Center or by calling 763-509-5280.
A representative from the nonprofit organization Honor Flight Twin Cities will offer information on a program that provides free flights to Washington, D.C., for veterans of World War II and the Korean War.
On September 21, 2019 the Heinzen-Ditter served as host to this event and helped recognize and support the Minnesota Military Appreciation Fund which has assisted veterans and soldiers for many years. PBYR managed a hydration station for the 5K run and gave a donation to the Minnesota Military Appreciation Fund. The weather was not the most cooperative but the sun finally appeared and there was a good dedicated turnout. Kudos to Joe Bennek and Jim Heimerl for all their hard work and efforts to make this event a SUCCESS. And despite all the hard work, Jim even had the energy to do the run as the photo documents!
The Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund
is partnering with the Hamel VFW and Plymouth Beyond The Yellow Ribbon to throw a “Thank MN Troops Block Party.” The date for this event is Saturday, September 21st. On that same day the City Of Medina is celebrating “Medina Day” (two blocks down the street). Hamel will be partying from one end of town to the other! I won’t cover things in the Block Party flyer. You can see/read for yourself. Instead I want to tell you why the Hamel VFW and PBYR whole heartedly support the MMAF.
The MMAF awards grants to Armed Forces personnel who have served since 9 /11. Now this is me (Jim) talking and not the MMAF so I may be a little off. I believe grants of $500.00 are given to each Minnesota Veteran with proof of a Honorable Discharge, $2000.00 to a Combat Wounded Veteran and $8000.00 to a Gold Star Family. The MMAF has awarded over 12 million dollars in grants thus far. Had something like this been available to the Vietnam Veterans when they came home it’s possible there wouldn’t have been such lifelong bitterness, scentless suicides and destroyed lives. That’s why every veteran I’ve talked to supports the MMAF and the 2019 Block Party.
So here’s what I’m asking of each of you to do. Almost everyone knows a younger Minnesota veteran who has served since 9/11. They may be a relative, someone at your VFW/ Legion Post or someone at work. Tell them about the MMAF and the “Thank MN Troops Block Party” on September 21st. Encourage them to attend and show up yourself to lend your support. We can’t undo the mistakes of the 60’s-70’s, but we can ensure they never occur again! Please forward this email to the veterans you know. They’ll know what do. Thank You!
Commander Hamel VFW
On Aug 3, 2019, PBYR and the VFW shared a table at the Plymouth Home Depot for Military Appreciation Day. I totally agree with Dean’s following assessment:
There was good traffic today at our table at the Home Depot. Gary’s Oreo cookies and soda were a big hit. We faced tough competition with the balloon lady, the MN Raptors Center’s bald eagle, owl and hawk and Every Third Saturday. The Home Depot folks were fantastic to work with.
We always enjoy partnering with the VFW and Home Depot! Although, the kids clearly liked the balloon lady; the Vets wanted to visit with the VFW guys at our table and we all celebrated with Oreos!
Gary Goldetsky, Psy.D, LP, President, Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
Memorial Day is seen as the unofficial start of summer and has become synonymous with trips to the beach and backyard barbecues. Often overlooked is the real reason behind the holiday – honoring the nation’s fallen service members.
With that in mind, here are some interesting facts about Memorial Day:
Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day began as an effort to honor Union soldiers who died during the Civil War. Union General John A. Logan called for the first nationwide Decoration Day on May 30, 1868, which was marked by decorating the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers and flags. Over time, it became known as Memorial Day. In 1971, federal law changed the observance of the holiday to the last Monday in May and extended the honor to all soldiers who have died in American wars.
Congress passed a law in December of 2000 requiring Americans to pause at 3 p.m.. local time on Memorial Day to remember and honor the fallen.
This is why you should wear a poppy on Memorial Day: Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae, who served as a surgeon for an Allied artillery unit during World War I, spotted the bright red flowers poking through battlefields in France and Flanders in 1915. That inspired him to write the poem, “In Flanders Field.” Later that year, Georgia teacher and volunteer war worker, Moina Michael, read the poem and wrote her own, “We Shall Keep the Faith” to urge making the poppy a tribute to those who have died in wartime.
The Hamel VFW, the City of Plymouth and PBYR are very pleased with the cooperation from all partnering organizations to make this happen. It is great to see the cooperation displayed in such a quality program!
This year we will have community participation which includes the VFW, Armstrong High School, Wayzata High School, Plymouth Police Explorers, a Military Chaplain and an excellent and highly qualified speaker. Please try to attend.
On February 8, 2019 Kersten and I had the privilege to again participate in the Greenwood Elementary School Family Service Night. The school was very active with a commitment and effort to help others, even with the temperature outside very cold and the roads slippery.
The Greenwood students wrote beautiful letters and created art work for service members which are always warmly received and appreciated by deployed Minnesota soldiers. The Greenwood parents AGAIN generously donated Holiday, Cub and Target Gift Cards! Their very generous gifts will help PBYR distribute needed assistance to Service Members, Veterans and/or their Families that could use some emergency help.
PBYR greatly appreciates the support of Angela Leger and the Greenwood Elementary Parents and Students!!!
Gary Goldetsky, Psy.D., LP
President, PBYR Board
On December 3, 2018 PBYR mailed 7 boxes of treats for deployed MN soldiers. This represents an annual partnership between WHS and PBYR to support deployed MN soldiers.
Gary is in the Plymouth Police Department packing boxes of coffee, beef sticks and letters from WHS students for deployed Minnesota soldiers
Kudos to the Heinzen Ditter VFW Post 5903 and the American Legion Post 394 for sponsoring an excellent Veterans Day Program on November 10, 2018. The parking lot was completely full. PBYR was honored to help promote the event.
All the speakers highlighted poignant reflections about America, such as clarity of purpose, mission, respect and the importance of character. I reflected on the comments about the dedication and time commitment of the Veterans that volunteer to serve with the Fort Snelling Rifle Squad and those that serve as a Color Guard to meet the numerous requests for assistance at burials and representation at special events. Veterans do us proud by their example and dedication! Congrats to VFW Commander Jim Heimerl et al in making this program a success.
Gary Goldetsky, Psy.D, LP