FARGO — Celebrated every Nov. 11, Veterans Day gives Americans the opportunity to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans.
Formerly known as Armistice Day, Veterans Day was originally set as a legal holiday in 1938 to honor the end of World War I and all World War I veterans. In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill allowed federal employees three-day weekends by celebrating four national holidays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Columbus Day. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday in October. It wasn't until Sept. 20, 1975, that President Ford signed a law to return the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978.
Since returning to its original date, Veterans Day has been observed with the closings of federal government offices, parades and more. There are several programs also taking place this Monday in Fargo-Moorhead to commemorate the holiday.
- A Veterans Day parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the former Great Northern Depot, 425 Broadway N., with the raising of the colors at the Fargo Veterans Memorial Bridge (Main Avenue) flagpole beginning around 10:55. Shortly after, the colors and Veterans organization flags will be posted at 11 a.m., with a ceremony to follow at the Fargo Civic Center, 207 Fourth St. N. Speakers for the ceremony include Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and a keynote address by Tim Haugen of the American Legion.
- West Fargo VFW Post 7564 and Auxiliary will host their annual Veterans Day program at the VFW Club, 444 Sheyenne St., West Fargo. Activities start with a flag-raising ceremony on the POW-MIA Plaza at 10:45 a.m., followed by a program inside the club at 11. The program will conclude with a rifle volley salute by the VFW Honor Guard and the playing of taps.
- Fargo VFW Post 762, 202 Broadway N., is serving stew at lunchtime, while the Auxiliary will host its annual Veterans Day bake sale beginning at 10 a.m. Cash donations will also be accepted, along with plenty of baked goods for purchase. Proceeds go to help support projects. Activities will continue into the afternoon.
- Fargo American Legion is serving stew at the El Zagal Shrine, 1429 Third St. N., Fargo, beginning at noon. The Red River Concert Band will play during the meal.
- Moorhead American Legion, 303 30th St. N., will host its lunch beginning at 11 a.m., with a meat raffle to follow at 1:30 p.m. At 3 p.m., the Red River Concert Band will perform, and the Veterans Day Christmas Raffle will be held at 5.
- Harwood American Legion, 101 Benefit Lane, will host a free stew dinner beginning at noon, with happy hour beginning at 6 p.m.
- AMVETS Post 7, 1001 First Ave. S., Fargo, will serve lunch at 1 p.m., as well as host festivities throughout the afternoon and evening.
- Dilworth VFW Post 1223, 1505 Center Ave. W., will serve a stew dinner beginning at 4:30 p.m.