One hundred years ago, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, World War I ended with the establishment of the Armistice Agreement. November 11 became a day dedicated to the cause of world peace, and reflection on the lives lost during the Great War. Over the years, Armistice Day evolved into Veterans Day, and the day became part reflection and part celebration of all the men and women who have served their country.
This year, Gilchrist celebrated over 300 veterans and surviving spouses of veterans at several of the residential care communities our patients call home. We were joined by Command Sergeant Jonathan Uribe, Garrison Command Sergeant Major and his team from Aberdeen Proving Ground, We Honor Veterans volunteers Ed Nolley, Ed Kaplan, Sherman Canapp, Linda Henderson, Bill Pulket, Tim Price, Gaye Stokes, Paul Jarboe and ROTC cadets from Loyola University, who led moving ceremonies.
According to the Veterans Administration, WWII veterans are dying quickly. Of the 16 million Americans who served in WWII, fewer than 500,000 are still alive. We had the privilege of honoring some of these veterans during our celebrations. We met a woman whose husband was one of the first African American men to be commissioned in the Marine Corps. Another told us about her brother who fought in the Jewish Infantry Brigade and took part in the Spring Offensive of 1945. And we heard stories from a man who was at Omaha Beach.
Each celebration was different. Some were formal, some were more casual and some even had dancing. Each gave us an opportunity to pay tribute to the brave men and women who served.
Special thanks to the residential communities that welcomed us: Brightview White Marsh, Charlestown, Harmony Hall, Keswick, Levindale, the Maples, North Oaks, Genesis Homewood and Genesis Long Green. And thank you to the Gilchrist Business Development team for organizing these celebrations.