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Annual parade to honor veterans

Nov. 02, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

The Kanawha Valley Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution honor and thank our veterans who have given so much to protect the freedoms we all hold so dear. To show their support, members will participate again this year in the Veteran's Day Parade in Charleston.

They are also planning their 4th Annual Christmas Party for the residents at the West Virginia Veterans Home in Barboursville from 2 until 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16.

The annual Charleston Veterans Day Parade will be held Saturday, Nov. 10, starting at 10 a.m. The event will be held a day early this year because Nov. 11, the traditional Veterans Day, falls on a Sunday. The parade organizer, Ed Converse of John Brawley Post No. 20 of the American Legion, said state and local officials agreed to change the date to give more people a chance to participate and show their support for veterans.

Did you know that Veterans Day originated as "Armistice Day" on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I? Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars.

The following is some interesting information about veterans that was obtained in the 2010 United States Census: there are 21.5 million military veterans living in the United States; 1.6 million of which are female veterans; there are 2.3 million black veterans, 1.2 million Hispanic; 264,695 Asian; 153,223 American Indian or Alaska Native; 27,469 Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; and 17.2 million non-Hispanic white; 9.2 million Veterans are 65 or older and, 1.8 million were younger than 35.

The Census also established that 7.5 million are Vietnam-era veterans; 5.1 million served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present); 1.8 million in World War II (1941-1945); 2.4 million in the Korean War (1950-1953); and 5.4 million in peacetime only.

The Census also 51,079 living veterans who served during the Vietnam era and both Gulf War eras and no other period. Other living veterans in 2011 who served during three wars:

43,942 served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam era.

Living veterans in 2011 who served during two wars and no other period:

876,663 served during both Gulf War eras.

205,205 served during both the Korean War and the Vietnam era.

129,972 served during both World War II and the Korean War.

There are 3.5 million veterans with a service-connected disability rating. Of this number, 810,245 have a rating of 70 percent of higher.

To honor Veterans on Veterans Day, let us all reflect upon the invaluable contributions of our country's veterans and reaffirm our commitment to provide them and their families with the essential support they were promised and have earned. Join the members of the Kanawha Valley Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution by letting the veterans in your community know that you appreciate their service.

Shirley M. Gilkeson is the Honorary Regent Kanawha Valley Chapter DAR, Past Vice President General NSDAR; Honorary State Regent WVDAR. She can be reached at SGilkeson@aol.com.