By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
As the clock strikes 11 a.m. on Saturday, American Legion Post No. 29 will hold a program at Blair House honoring veterans of the U.S. armed forces who served honorably in the military, whether in wartime or peacetime.
Legion commander Mike York said the event will start promptly at 11 a.m. with a 21-gun salute and Taps. Veterans Day is always celebrated on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, regardless of what day it falls on, marking the day when Germany and the Allies signed the amistice to end hostilities of World War 1. In 1919, president Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first Armistice Day. In 1954 the holiday was renamed to honor all the veterans of the military.
?Its to reflect on sacrifices people have made in their lives, even if they weren?t in harm?s way, to ensure our freedoms,? York said.
York said after the salute, the events will move inside where speaker Cheyenne Cuddeback Miller will give the keynote speech. Inspired by her grandfather?s stories of serving as a paratrooper in World War II, Miller developed a desire to not only study military history, but to canonize the stories of those who served in the war. Her first book, ?We the Lucky Few? was published in 2011 and their latest book, ?The Three of Hearts? released Nov. 28, 2014. ?The Three of Hearts? was named in honor of Miller?s grandfather?s lucky card that he returned home with from the war.
?One of the paratroopers in my dad?s outfit passed out one card to each of them from a 52-card deck,? Cuddeback explained in an earlier interview. ?Later, when the surviving men got back together, less than half of the deck could be produced. My dad?s card was the three of hearts. He carried it in his billfold for the remaining 56 years of his life.?
?The Three of Hearts? tells the stories of men and women who served in World War II from Southeast Iowa counties such as Jefferson, Johnson, Linn, Henry and Muscatine.Cuddeback began working with other community members to locate veterans who would agree to tell their stories in 2010 and he didn?t stop until the last book was finished.
At 6 p.m. the Legion in conjunction with the Washington County Military Museum will hold a veterans dinner at the U.P. Church. York said anyone wishing to come is invited. The event will be to honor veterans.