Citing concerns for the health of its membership and potential attendees, Marco Island American Legion Post 404 has announced it will forgo this year’s November 11 Veterans Day Ceremony that honors all Veterans who have served in uniform. Lee Rubenstein, Commander of Post 404, cited concerns about the age of the majority of its members and those in attendance, and their possible exposure to the COVID-19 virus as the primary reasons for the decision.
About Veterans Day
Originally designated November 11 as “Armistice Day,” the legislation was amended in 1954 to strike the word “Armistice” and insert the word “Veterans.” On October 8, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation, which stated: “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive Branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.”
About The American Legion
“Chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization focused on service to veterans, service members and communities, the Legion evolved from a group of war-weary veterans of World War I into one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States,” according to the organization’s website.
The American Legion affords membership to anyone who has served federal active duty in the United States Armed Forces since December 7, 1941, and has been honorably discharged or is still serving. “Because eligibility dates remain open, all active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible to join The American Legion at this time, until the date of the end of hostilities as determined by the government of the United States,” according to the website. U.S. Merchant Marines who served from December 7, 1941, to December 31, 1946 (WWII), also are eligible.
The American Legion and other organizations may come together in the Spring in a Marco Island ceremony to honor military, first-responders and others who have served the nation. Such a gathering will be held in an alternative location due to the construction that is planned to be ongoing at Veterans Community Park.
This November 11, you can visit Veterans Community Park or the Veterans Memorial at the Marco Island Cemetery to pay your respects to those who serve or have served in uniform. Marco Island Cemetery is located at 485 West Elkcam Circle. The memorial there was a project undertaken by two brothers who completed it as an Eagle Scout Project several years ago. Prior to the Veterans Memorial being built as part of Veterans Community Park, the cemetery was the site of both Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies.