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Shepherdstown to begin commemorating Veterans Day again on Nov. 11

By Staff | Sep 7, 2018

A Marine marches along German Street during 2018's 4th of July Parade. For the first time in many years, Shepherdstown will also celebrate Veterans Day, with a community commemoration at the War Memorial Building on Nov. 11.

SHEPHERDSTOWN — For many years, Shepherdstown held an annual commemoration of Veterans Day, as one of its many holiday-related events.

Unfortunately, that commemoration fell by the wayside several years ago, a fact that some local veterans and residents are hoping to rectify.

“We will plan a Veteran’s Day celebration, which will take place at the War Memorial Building on November 11. We’re going to hold it early in the afternoon, at 1 or 2 p.m., so all church service attendees can also come to the event,” said event organizer Pam Donato, of Shepherdstown.

Although the 45-minute event won’t be held at the usual Veterans Day commemoration time of 11 a.m., Shepherdstown Visitors Center Director Marianne Davis said she hopes community members will pause for a moment of commemoration at 11 a.m., and also attend the community celebration honoring both living and deceased U.S. veterans.

“Even if it’s a Sunday, we hope everyone will maintain a moment of silence during that moment,” Davis said, mentioning many local groups and veterans will participate in the event, including Historic Shepherdstown, George Tyler Moore Center Director Jim Broomall, American Legion Service Officer David Robinson, Shepherdstown Community Club board member Nancy Stewart, veteran and local photographer Kimo Williams and Shepherd University Student Veterans Organization President Matt Buchwitz. Local Junior ROTC programs, Veterans of Foreign Wars posts and American Legion posts are also anticipated to participate in the event.

Agreeing with Davis, Donato, a six-year veteran of the Army, said the moment of silence is in recognition of Veterans Day’s previous title, Armistice Day, recognizing the end of World War I.

According to Donato, the two minutes of silence held at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month of the year are intended to be used as a reminder of Nov. 11, 1918, when a treaty was signed ending four years of fighting between the Allies and Germany.

While Memorial Day focuses on remembering deceased veterans, Veterans Day’s broader focus of commemorating all veterans’ service gives community members the opportunity to honor those who have passed on, as well as those living in our community who have risked their lives for their country.

“We need to recognize the service of all veterans — veterans are every day people doing extraordinary things,” Donato said, mentioning some local businesses have agreed to join in the commemoration by putting up stickers and hold promotions in honor of Veterans Day. “Everybody who does anything in any town — commerce or not — is a player when it comes to recognizing veterans.”

To be part of the commemoration’s steering group, email the Shepherdstown Visitors Center at shepherdstownvisitorscenter@gmail.com.