Honoring Veterans Day with celebrations in Hammond


Kaitlyn Keppler

The Veterans Day Celebration in Cate Street Park honored local veterans with food, gift baskets, and American-themed decorations.

Every year on Nov. 11, Americans celebrate Veterans Day, a federal holiday dedicated to honoring living military veterans of the United States.

A veteran is a person who served in the active military, naval or air service who was honorably discharged.

Veterans Affairs reports there are 19.1 million veterans living in the United States as of 2022. These include 1,328,000 male veterans and 164,000 female veterans. These heroes are honored on Veterans Day with parades and church services, and in many places the American flag is flown at half-mast.

Hammond is hosting many different local celebrations for Veterans Day. Rob Dunn and Steve Worth participated in a Veteran’s Day event at Cate Street park on Friday at 9 a.m. There is an ROTC vs Veterans football game at Strawberry Stadium that starts at 1 p.m. A veteran’s day tailgate will be held Saturday from 10 a.m until 4 p.m. in Friendship Circle. 

Reve Miles, the Chaplain of Veterans of Foreign Wars post 3652, commented on what Veterans Day means to him saying, “Today to me means honor. It means honor because I served my country and fought for the country I love. It’s an honor and a joy every year.” 

At the end of World War I, President Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day, now known as Veterans Day, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I on June 4, 1926.

Humana hosts a tent for honoring and serving local veterans at Cate Street Park. All proceeds go to local veterans in the Tangipahoa area. (Kaitlyn Keppler)

The difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day is that Veterans Day targets living soldiers where Memorial Day honors those who died while serving in the military.

Southeastern offers different programs for veterans, those currently enlisted, and ROTC members including the Office of Military and Veteran Success and the Jaguar Battalion Army ROTC program.

Nick Algeciras, a member of the ROTC at Southeastern, said, “Today is both a happy and solemn holiday, honoring our collective sacrifice and those who came before us. This Veteran’s day, remember to check in on those close to you, even if they are far away.” 

It is encouraged for Americans to reach out to their local veterans with an appreciation post or donate to local veterans outreach programs. Southeastern’s Office of Military and Veteran Success can be found here.