Area events planned to honor military

Veterans Day is a time to remember those in the armed forces.

And the local numbers of those in the service are growing.

Fort Lewis grew by 5,500 soldiers last year and will add another 3,300 by the end of 2007, putting the post's active-duty population at nearly 30,000, according to post officials.

The president proclaimed Saturday as the official observance of Veterans Day this year.

"Through the generations, America's men and women in uniform have defeated tyrants, liberated continents and set a standard of courage and idealism for the entire world," President Bush said in his Veterans Day proclamation.

"To protect the Nation they love, our veterans stepped forward when America needed them most. In conflicts around the world, their sacrifice and resolve helped destroy the enemies of freedom and saved millions from oppression. In answering history's call with honor, decency, and resolve, our veterans have shown the power of liberty and earned the respect and admiration of a grateful nation."

Veterans Day versus Memorial Day: Many people confuse the two, says the Veterans Affairs Web site.

Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered on Veterans Day, it's the day set aside to thank and honor all who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime.

• The day's history: Nov. 11 was formerly Armistice Day, the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918. The federal legal holiday, observed on the fourth Monday in October during the mid-1970s, reverted to Nov. 11 in 1978.

• National Veterans Awareness Week: When Bush made his proclamation, he also declared the week of Nov. 5 through 11 as a week for residents to display the flag and support patriotic activities.

Veterans Day events

• "Celebrate our Veterans" ceremony, noon today, State Capitol Campus War Memorials. Begins at the Korean Memorial, then proceeds to the World War II Memorial, then the Vietnam Memorial Wall. In addition to comments and songs, flags and poppies will be on hand for participants to place at the wall. Sponsored by the International Association of Workforce Professionals. For more information, call 360-902-9348 or 360-902-9328.

• Free haircuts for veterans, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, the Barber Shop & Company, 120 Turner St. N.E., Olympia (next to Ralph's Thriftway). For more information, call 360-352-8431.

• Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent will have its traditional Veterans Day Ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday. Music begins at 10:30 a.m. The cemetery is at 18600 S.E. 240th St., Kent. For more information, call 425-413-9614.

• Museum of Flight Veterans Day weekend, Museum of Flight, 9404 Marginal Way S., Seattle. Saturday's events include Boeing Employees Concert Band at noon, Veterans Day ceremony at 1 p.m., Medal of Honor recipients' autograph session at 2:30 p.m. Sunday's events include a Medal of Honor panel discussion at 2 p.m. and Medal of Honor recipients' autograph session at 3:30 p.m. For more information, call 206-764-5720 or go to www.museumofflight.org.

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