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How and where to observe Veterans Day in Lake County

Several veteran-themed public events are scheduled in Lake County next week. File / Duluth News Tribune

Veterans Day 2018 is rapidly approaching. What is Veterans Day about?

The United States of America celebrates Nov. 11 as Armistice Day, now Veterans Day, to commemorate the ending of World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. World War I, known as "The Great War" or "the war to end all wars," officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed June 28, 1919.

However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice or temporary cease fire between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. For that reason, Nov. 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of "the war to end all wars."

Who is a veteran?

There are statutes (laws, etc.) that define legally what or who a veteran is, but generally,

veterans are people who served in the U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard) and wore the uniform of their respective military service in times of war or peace.

How can Veterans Day be observed?

If you meet someone, or know someone who is a veteran, remember not all veterans want recognition for their military service. If you feel the need to say something, approach, and in a courteous way, tell them, very simply: "Thank you for your service." No more, no less.

Maybe ask a veteran you know to spend some time with them, and if they're willing to talk about their experiences, listen, because once a veteran is gone, their experiences and insights are gone with them if they're not recorded somehow.

Attend a Veterans Day program in your local area.

In Lake County, here is a list of events, as available at press time:

• Wednesday, Nov. 7 — Veterans Day Soup Dinner, William Kelley High School cafeteria, Silver Bay, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Free.

• Thursday, Nov. 8 — Spaghetti feed fundraiser for annual Veterans Day dinner, American Legion Post 109, Two Harbors, 4-7 p.m. Cost is $10 per plate to help fund a free dinner for veterans and a guest on Veterans Day.

• Friday, Nov. 9 — Program, Ecumen Care Center (nursing home), Two Harbors, 4 p.m.

• Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov. 11 — Program, Silver Bay Veterans Home, 10:30 a.m. Keynote speaker is John Nelson of Isabella Friends of the Fourth. Refreshments offered after program.

• Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov. 11 — Free annual Veterans Day dinner, American Legion Post 109, Two Harbors. Doors close to public at 4 p.m.; hors d'oeuvres, 5 p.m.; dinner, 6 p.m., with modest program starting shortly after. All veterans welcome. Veterans must have verification of military service or veteran status (national veteran service organization membership card, veterans health or national ID card, DD 214 and picture ID, etc.).

• Monday, Nov. 12 — Internal, nonpublic program in each facility, William Kelley High School, Silver Bay, and Minnehaha Elementary School, Two Harbors, 4 p.m.

Please take the time to reflect on the meaning of the day, and enjoy the holiday.

Vince Sando is the Lake County veterans service officer.