Armistice Day (Veterans' Day, Remembrance Day) Commemoration
Friday, November 11
Pioneer Courthouse Square, downtown Portland
11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, it became "All quiet on the Western Front." An armistice signed at six o'clock that morning took effect and brought a ceasefire to the "War to End All Wars." Since that fateful day, most nations which fought in that conflict observe Armistice Day. The United States in 1938 made it official with a proclamation that states in part, ".... it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and ... inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples."
Unfortunately, the horrors of World War I were to be outdone by those of World War II and to honor the sacrifices of the veterans who fought in it, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in 1954. While it is fitting and proper to honor all veterans for their service, it is a shame that the original intent of November 11 has become lost to the militarization and commercialization of this important date.