Jul 26, 2014
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Reader Photos: Highland Park Celebrates Veterans Day

Check out photos from last week's ceremony.

The array of numbers surrounding today makes it the most unique Veterans Day of all.

For the first time since the holiday was conceived as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War I in 1917, it will be a day of five elevens.

The original celebration asked Americans to fast east at 11:11 a.m. on Nov. 11 to remember the troops who served the American cause in what was then called by then President Woodrow Wilson “The War to End War.”

Today people will mark their appropriate celebration at 11:11 a.m. on 11-11-11. That will not happen again for 100 years.

“We are pausing on the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year to remember the troops who fought in what was then considered the worst war,” said. “We want to support all of our veterans for their service to us.”

 kicked off an oral history project through the Library of Congress for veterans Monday in Lake Forest. Though the primary focus of the effort is chronicling stories of World War II, Dold paid tribute to all Veterans.

“On this day we remember all have served,” Dold said. “They are the ones who preserve the very fabric of our freedom. They all need our support. Not just the ones who fought in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, but those who are coming home now from Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Richard Small, a Highland Park resident of 24 years and an army veteran, explained that every Veterans Day is unique.

"It's always different because you always think back on the people you served with," Small said. "It was another lifetime for me."

Small was commissioned to the army in the mid-'70s and went overseas to West Germany where he was stationed in field artillery. He stayed in reserves after for another 18 years, until retiring in 1997.

The Highland Park resident pointed out that another reason today is different from past Veterans Days is because of the country's current military situation.

"[Today is] very unique," Small said, "Especially as we wind down from this series of wars."

Currently a chemical manufacturer and broker, Small said that he sometimes attends the , and that it's a day where everyone should take time to reflect on the sacrifices of American soldiers.

"It's a cliche, but freedom is not free and to maintain freedom can be very costly," he said. "Sometimes we take that for granted."

Highland Park will observe Veterans Day with a special ceremony organized by American Legion Highland Park Post 145, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Jewish War Veterans. Music will be provided by the Band. Cub Scouts from Pack 34 and Boy Scouts from Troop 324 will participate as well. The ceremony will be held at the Veterans Memorial located at the corner of St. Johns and Central Avenues at 10:40 a.m.

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