BUSTI-The history of Veterans Day was the topic of discussion Monday in Busti.
The Busti-Hamlet Development Group held a Veterans Day ceremony at the Busti Fire Department. Vince Horrigan, Chautauqua County Executive-elect, led the service, acknowledging his fellow veterans, thanking them for the service they have offered. He said he was happy with the increased positive treatment of veterans over the years.
Veterans presented the colors, and after the Pledge of Allegiance, Southwestern High School led by Jamie Sigler, played the national anthem. Horrigan then introduced Troy Smith, the New York state veteran counselor for Chautauqua County from the Division of Veteran Affairs.
World War II Navy veterans, Joseph Gerace, 86, and Charles Peterson, 91, stand next to the American flag during a Veterans Day ceremony in Busti
Smith told the history of Veterans Day, which started as Armistice Day, to honor all of those who participated in the "war to end all wars." In 1926 Congress passed a resolution that Nov. 11 should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer with exercises to extend good will and mutual understanding between nations. In 1954 after World War II and the Korean War, Congress struck the word "armistice" in favor of "veterans" after lobbying efforts by veterans' service organizations. After the Uniform Holidays Bill, which sought three-day holidays for federal employees, Veterans Day was moved to October, causing great confusion. Many states disapproved of this change, and continued to celebrate Veterans Day on its original date until 1978 when President Gerald Ford signed a new law returning Veterans Day observations to the original date.
Horrigan then asked veterans to stand, and after a rousing ovation from the crowd, Southwestern High School band played "God Bless America" before the ceremony was closed with a prayer.