American Legion Post 800 in Idyllwild observes Veterans Day on Tuesday, Nov. 11. Originally called Armistice Day, it celebrated the end of hostilities at 11 a.m., Nov. 11, in “The Great War” or “The War to End All Wars.” The optimism generated in 1918 by the signing of an armistice proved short lived. Twenty-one years later, in September 1939, Germany would again launch the world into an international conflict. Consequently, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day by proclamation of Congress and signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954, with the intention of honoring U.S. veterans of all wars, not just those who served in World War I.
Post 800 marks the occasion at “11-11-11” — the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — when all guns fell silent in 1918, with an honor guard ceremony and a talk by Afghanistan veteran and former U.S. Marine Cpl. Paul White.
The post’s Auxiliary will host a free luncheon following the solemn ceremony. All are welcome to attend.
Leading up to the Veterans Day observance, the post will present an old-fashioned U.S.O. dance from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8. The United Service Organizations began providing programs, services and live entertainment for veterans and otherwise serving members of the armed forces and their families in 1941. Dances and entertainment by Hollywood A-list celebrities began a long tradition of easing the strains of overseas and active duty service. It is that 1940s U.S.O. era that Post 800 will recreate. All are welcome to attend, regardless of service status, to the free dance. Post 800 is located at 54360 Marian View Drive in Idyllwild.