PARIS — The annual Veterans Day ceremony will be held at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School beginning at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11. Everyone is invited to attend.

The 45-minute program includes speakers, music and a special video and is being arranged by the American Legion’s Anderson-Staples Post 112 in Oxford.

Past Commander Neil Bickford, who will act as master of ceremonies, said it is important for the community to turn out and support veterans, to hear their stories and understand their sacrifices.

“You never lose it … the thoughts and feelings,” Bickford said.

Guest speaker will be Oxford selectman and state Rep. Roger Jackson, R-Oxford. The keynote speaker is state Sen. James Hamper, R-Oxford. Both were selected to speak because of their dedication to the community and respect for veterans, Bickford said.

The program will also include a special video by Anderson-Staples Post 112 Adjutant Robert Lavertu.

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Bickford said Lavertu has spent many hours putting together a 15-minute video featuring clips of Bob Hope’s USO tours. Hope toured the world entertaining troops with his vaudeville show for more than 50 years, beginning in World War II and continuing to Christmas 1990 during Operation Desert Shield.

“For anyone who ever had a father, mother, grandfather, grandmother or great-grandfather, aunt, uncle or other relative in any branch of the service, this is our humble attempt to thank them for their great efforts and many sacrifices to keep our country safe,” Lavertu said in a statement issued Friday. “We also honor the families and friends, supporters and all others who have helped in the actions over the last few years.”

In his statement, Lavertu reminded the community that the national holiday was first observed on Nov. 11, 1919, when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that day as the first commemoration of Armistice Day, when a truce was declared in World War I between the Allied nations and Germany on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

On May 13, 1938, Congress passed an act that made Nov. 11 a legal holiday to be known as Armistice Day. In 1954, a public law was passed removing the word “Armistice” and replacing it with the word “Veterans.” It became a day to honor all veterans.

“Many of the younger people don’t actually know what this holiday is about. They may know their father or grandfather was in the Army or Navy or Marines or flew a plane in the Air Force, but they really have no understanding of what some of these brave men and women did. Nine-year-olds may only know their grandfather limps. They may or not know the cause, but Nov. 11 is day everyone should be thanked for their service,” Lavertu said.

He said the local American Legion posts have raised thousands of dollars to help not only veterans but youth in the area. The American Legion was the first primary sponsor of the Special Olympics years ago. People may not realize the American Legion offers a public speaking event that allows students to compete for scholarship money. The organization also supports Boys State, Girls State, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and baseball and softball programs.

The Ladies Auxiliary of Post 112 will serve coffee and donuts after the event.

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