The National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona will host a wreath-laying ceremony this Friday in honor of Veterans Day.
All Valley residents are invited. The ceremony starts at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10 at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N. Cave Creek Road.
“We encourage everyone to join us to honor and give thanks to our nation’s heroes,” said Randy Heard, National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona director, shared in a press release. “As Winston Churchill said, “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.”
In 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. This site, on a hillside overlooking the Potomac River and the city of Washington D.C., became the focal point of reverence for America’s veterans.
Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in England and France, where an unknown soldier was buried in each nation’s highest place of honor. These memorial gestures all took place on November 11, giving universal recognition to the celebrated ending of World War I fighting at 11 a.m., Nov. 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). The day became known as “Armistice Day.”
The first celebration using the term, “Veterans Day,” occurred in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1947 on Armistice Day.
In 1954, Congress passed the bill that President Eisenhower signed proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day.
Located in Phoenix, the 225-acre National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona was officially transferred from the state of Arizona to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989.
Two unique memorials at the cemetery are the Eternal Flame monument, which is pyramidal in shape, and the World War II Submarine Torpedo monument. Notable persons interred include Navajo Code Talkers Sidney Bedoni, Richard Dooley, Arthur J. Hubbard, Sr., Joe Kellwood, and Robert "Bert" Tallsalt.