November 11th is the nationally recognized day of the end of WWI, Armistice Day, now known as Veterans Day. At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice (peace) agreement was signed. With Owosso city officials being “inconvenienced,” we had a countywide Veterans Day ceremony at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Owosso at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11.
Owosso city officials unilaterally planned another service for Monday, Nov. 12 at the hospital and a suspended Veterans Day parade from Fayette Square to the bowling alley.
When veterans went to fight for our freedom, they did not feel “inconvenienced,” but felt it was an honor to serve their country. The lack of respect exhibited by the Owosso city officials sets yet another precedent towards those who have fought and died for our freedom. God Bless America!
I went against the grain Monday night, Nov. 12. As you may have heard, Owosso city officials refused to allow us to have a countywide Veterans Day parade on Sunday. In honor of veterans, we had a short ceremony on Sunday at Oak Hill Cemetery in Owosso. I marched around Owosso on my own for an hour carrying a 48-state star flag, which commemorated the States in the Union at the end of WWl. We had a 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, at Memorial Healthcare hospital on Sunday, which Larry Thayer from Owosso VFW Post 9455 officiated.
Owosso officials, the police chief, mayor, city manager, and Ben Frederick had no plans for honoring veterans and only wanted to have a parade on Monday so they could get more recognition, as it would have inconvenienced them and band directors from area schools to have it on Sunday. They had no intention of a ceremony on Monday, so I set up a speaker system at Fayette Square prior to the parade and asked Karen Horn (Owosso VFW Auxiliary President) to read the poem “Flanders Field,” from WWl. She didn’t feel comfortable reading in front of people, so she asked Ben Frederick to read it. I also read a poem that I wrote a couple of years ago, “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.” The police chief and city manager weren’t happy with me preparing time before the parade without their knowledge. Veterans Day is not about politicians, bureaucrats and band directors…it’s about veterans who have fought and died for freedom.
Matthew Shepard, Perry