November 8, 2019
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, World War I drew to a close.
Church bells rang across North America and Europe. One historian wrote that soldiers could be heard cheering “from the Vosges to the sea.” Although the peace wasn’t made official until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles seven months later, November 11, 1918 would come to be known as the end of the “war to end all wars.”
“To us in America,” declared President Wilson, “the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory.”
Americans celebrated peace – and honored the men and women whose sacrifices made peace possible. The first anniversary of the armistice in 1919 included a nationwide moment of silence at 11 a.m., as well as parades and public ceremonies at churches, town halls and schools. Although the name (and even the date) of the holiday would change over the years, the spirit behind the day remains the same.
And 100 years later, the Veterans Day tradition is still strong at The Mayflower.
“Eighty-seven veterans live and work at The Mayflower,” says CEO Steve Kramer. “We’re proud to thank them for their bravery, their service and the stories they share – not just on Veterans Day, but on every day of the year.”
Among the residents: Maj. Gen. John C. Raaen (ret. U.S. Army), a decorated D-Day Veteran who was was awarded both the Bronze Star and Silver Star medals; Purple Heart honorees Jerry Kimmitt (ret. U.S. Army) and Capt. John Gillooly (ret. U.S. Navy); and pioneer female officers Capt. Ruth Halverson (ret. U.S. Navy) and Col. Carol Reagles (ret. U.S. Army)—to name just a few.
They, and 82 others, will be honored at The Mayflower’s annual Veterans Day program. The ceremony, which takes place at 10 a.m. on November 11, will feature a guest speaker and patriotic songs performed by The Mayflower Singers. The Winter Park High School Color Guard will post the colors.
Did you know the Veterans Day program is organized and led by residents at The Mayflower? Our thriving community is shaped by the engagement and passion of everyone who lives here. Schedule a tour today, or give us a call at 407-672-1620!