World War I ended on Nov. 11, 1918 – at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, which is how Nov. 11 became Veterans Day, a day to honor all veterans whether they served in time of war or peace.
A parade honoring the millions of veterans will be held starting at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11 on Main Street in Eufaula starting at about 2:30 p.m. at the Health & Wellness Center at Forest and Main Streets.
VFW 8798 Post Commander Elizabeth Carter is urging all veterans to join the parade and march proudly down Main with their comrade in arms.
“Even non-veterans are welcome to march,” Carter said.
So if you are a non-veteran who appreciates what the veterans sacrifice for their country you are more than welcome to join the parade.
The parade, led by an Honor Guard, will not last long – so the public is invited to take a few minutes out of their busy schedules to show their appreciation and march with those who are willing to sacrifice their lives to give you those minutes.
Mike Rogers, general manager of KFOX radio in Eufaula, is helping organize the event and hopes to make it the biggest ever.
“We start lining up at 2 p.m. at the Health & Wellness center. The high school band will play the National Anthem at Main and Foley,” he said.
Anticipating chilly weather, Rogers said Dobbers Roadhouse restaurant will provide free hot chocolate, also at Main and Foley.
Carter said prior to the parade, there will be a flag raising ceremony at 11 a.m. at the VFW post, followed by a meal for veterans and their families.
On Friday, Nov. 3, there will be a posting of colors at the Eufaula and Canadian elementary sc hools.
Veterans Day originated as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I.
Congress later passed a resolution making it an annual observance and it became a national holiday in 1938. Sixteen years later, then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name to Veterans Day to honor all those who served their country during war or peacetime.
As of 2020, there were approximately 6.3 million veterans of the United States military still alive who served during the period of the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1975.
Around 8.75 million service personnel served during the war, with 40% of those stationed in Vietnam and the surrounding Southeast Asian countries.
The average age of the Vietnam Veteran is 68 years old. Of the 2,709,918 Americans who served in Vietnam, less than 850,000 are estimated to be alive today, with the youngest American Vietnam veteran’s age approximated to be 60 years old.
According to a 2020 Department of Defense report, Gulf War Illness (GWI) is estimated to affect 175,000 to 250,000 Veterans of the nearly 700,000 troops who were deployed to the Gulf War theater of operations from 1990 to 1991.
GWI affects Veterans who served in the Army and the Marine Corps at higher rates than those who served in the Navy and Air Force, and enlisted personnel are affected more than others.
GWI rates also differ by where Veterans were located during deployment, with the highest rates among troops who served in areas that were close to combat.
According to a 2016 study by VA researchers, based on data collected 20 years after the war, Gulf War-era Veterans who were deployed to the Gulf continued to report poorer health than Veterans who served during the same period but were not deployed.
By The Numbers
– 90,527 Oklahomans served in World War II. Of that number, 1,064 were killed, 4,154 wounded and 502 missing in action.
– HUD estimates that approximately 273 Oklahoma veterans are homeless.
– according to the Housing Assistance Council, approximately 258,556 veterans live in the state, where 8.7 percent of the state’s population are veterans.
– 1.8 percent of those veterans served in World War II; 5.4 percent in Korea; 36.3 percent in Vietnam; 24.1 percent in Gulf War I; 24.5 percent in Iraq and Afghanistan and 19.7 percent between conflicts.
– 4 percent of Oklahoma’s veterans are unemployed.
– 7.6 percent of the state’s veterans live in poverty.
– 35.3 percent have service-connected disabilities.
– 5,474 Oklahomans died in World War II; 475 in Korea and 671 in Vietnam.
– according to the VFW there are approximately 18,592,457 veterans in the U.S.
– 26.5 percent of veterans were 75 or older in 2022 and 8.5 percent were younger than 35.
– The VFW stated that the total number of veterans continues to decline every year and is projected to hit an alltime low of 11,858,410 veterans by 2050 (a decrease of 35.02% from 2023 to 2050).
– 200,000 service members transition from active duty to civilian life each year.
– Total number of veterans with VA serviceconnected disabilities: 5,417,012.
– Total number of homeless veterans: 67,495.
– Veterans comprise 10.6% of all homeless in the U.S.
– Veterans are more than twice as likely to become homeless as those who didn’t serve in the military.
– In 2023, more than 1,000,000 veterans live in poverty (defined as living at or below the DOL and HHS poverty line).
– The current veteran unemployment rate is 2.8%.
– The number of World War II veterans is quickly dwindling. Of those that grew up during the Great Depression and served during the war, the veterans are mostly between the ages of 96 and 102.