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BEACON PHOTO/AL EVERSON THIS WILL GET YOUR ATTENTION — Members of VFW Post 8093’s honor guard fire a 21-shot salute in remembrance of the honorable service and sacrifices of all U.S. veterans from the nation’s founding to today.

In keeping with a tradition that goes back to the end of World War I in 1918, a small but fervent group of former warriors and friends formed up outside Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8093 in DeBary at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month to pay homage to Americans who have served in the armed forces in peace and war.

What is now known as Veterans Day was first observed as Armistice Day, when the guns became silent along the Western Front of the war that was supposed to end wars. 

Germany officially surrendered to the Western Allied Powers, marking the end of a war that had started in 1914. In 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower proclaimed Nov. 11 would henceforth be Veterans Day, in tribute to all Americans who have served in all of the nation’s wars, from the Revolutionary War to the most recent and latest conflicts.

The rather brief and simple ceremony in DeBary drew a light crowd of mostly middle-aged and older folks, many of whom served in the Vietnam War era. 

BEACON PHOTO/AL EVERSON
SOMBER GATHERING — People from Southwest Volusia take time to observe the federal holiday set aside to honor Americans who have served or are now serving in the U.S. armed forces. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8093 in DeBary hosted the program, and those who attended were invited to lunch inside the post home.

The program featured prayers for the protection of those now serving in the U.S. military, along with raising the Stars and Stripes, the sounding of taps, and a rifle salute fired by the post’s honor guard.

BEACON PHOTO/AL EVERSON
PROUD PAIR — Former DeBary City Council Member Erika Benfield stands with Shelby Davis, who served in the U.S. Army in World War II. Davis, of DeBary, said he will turn 95 later this month. The former Kentucky coal miner said he was drafted in 1944 and sent to Europe, and he was in Germany when the war ended. Benfield is now a Republican candidate to represent Florida’s District 7 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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