Armistice Day, also known in the United States as Veterans Day, commemorates the ending of World War I in 1918. Bennett County, South Dakota, was established only a short time, approximately ten years or so, when this historical armistice was signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany, at Compiegne, France. Local residents have set aside November 11 as a day of showing appreciation for our veterans throughout the decades.
The formal peace agreement, the Treaty of Versailles, was signed the following year. This anniversary date is celebrated in the United States, as well as by other Allied nations, each in their own way. The name of the holiday has changed to Remembrance Day, or Veterans Day, with the original Armistice Day being kept in other countries.
A day of thanks for our Armed Service Veterans, it is a day set aside to honor all veterans who have served.
American Legion Post 240 members and other veterans were the honored guests at the Veterans Day Program at the Martin Grade School Activity Center on Monday afternoon.
The Presentation of the Colors by Post #240 opened the program, with local veterans joining in the procession.
Bennett County High School band performed the “Star Spangled Banner,” as all those present rose in respect. BCHS Student Council President Lexi Bair welcomed the audience, and the band performed “Fanfare for Freedom.”
Martin Grade School Pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students serenaded the veterans and audience with a rousing rendition of “You’re A Grand Old Flag.”
Post 240 Commander Mathew Risse spoke to the audience. “Thank you all for coming. As we celebrate our veterans on this Veterans Day, I feel honored to be standing up here in front of so many people who are interested in honoring our veterans. How wonderful it is to see the spirit of patriotism growing in our country.”
“Today we recognize those who have protected and continue to protect our way of life. We celebrate this day, we honor our veterans today, because we know, without them, there would be no land of the free.”
“Today we honor and thank them, and tomorrow we must continue to honor them. They have given us a chance to live in freedom.”
The Bennett County Middle and High School choir performed “For the Good of Many,” followed by the closing remarks by Superintendent Stacy Halverson. The final musical number was a group singing of “God Bless America,” by the entire audience.
The Colors were retired, and the veterans enjoyed refreshments in the community room.