Congratulations to Chamber award winners

By The Courier-Gazette Editorial Board | Nov 09, 2017

Congratulations to all of those recognized at the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce Gala this weekend.

The chamber honored not only business leaders, but those who are working to help those in need in our community.

Trekkers founder Don Carpenter was named Community Person of the Year. From 1998 to 2016, he led this outdoor-based mentoring program, which now provides exploration opportunities and life lessons for more than 200 students in the Midcoast.

Nancy Jeffers was recognized as community volunteer of the year. She volunteers with the chamber, the lobster festival and RSU 13.

Other award winners included Habitat for Humanity, Knox County Homeless Coalition, Pen Bay Medical Center, the Farnsworth Art Museum, LCI and Maine Coast Weddings & Special Events.

All of the winners were deserving. The chamber volunteers and employees who organized this event also deserve appreciation for the work they do to promote community values and economic prosperity in the area. The gala is a massive undertaking coordinated by a small group of people, and the chamber depends on support from its members and the community.

Remembering Veterans Day

Veterans Day, once known as Armistice Day, was first celebrated Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I.

In 1928, Congress passed a resolution for Armistice Day to be an annual observation, and by 1938, the day became a national holiday.

Differing from Memorial Day in May, Armistice Day, which would be renamed Veterans Day in 1954 under President Dwight Eisenhower, pays tribute to veterans who survived various wars. Memorial Day commemorates veterans who lost their lives.

Here are some facts for Veterans Day:

- There are about 18.5 million military veterans in the United States. Of those, 1.6 million are female.

- Veterans include all who served in the military: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. Veterans serve in times of war and peace.

- The word "veteran" comes from Latin and means "old, of long experience" The first use of the word was documented in 1509.

- Upon retiring or being discharged, veterans may need help acclimating to life outside the military. The Department of Veterans Affairs says about 30 percent of Vietnam War veterans have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

- Between 1971 and 1977, Veterans Day was celebrated on the fourth Monday in October. It was changed back to its original date, Nov. 11, in 1975, when President Gerald Ford signed bill S.331 into law. The change went into effect beginning in 1978.

- An American soldier was buried at the national cemetery in Arlington Nov. 11, 1921. His identity was unknown, and the grave site is known as the "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier." A guard from the Society of the Honor Guard stands watch over the grave each year on Veterans Day, and the president or another high-ranking member of the government places a wreath on the grave.

This Veterans Day, remember the heroism of America's brave warriors, and thank a veteran you know for his or her service to our nation.

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