Two services will be held in the city on Saturday in honor of Veterans Day, spokespersons said.
At 11 a.m., veterans groups will gather at Memorial Park on Lysle Boulevard at Market Street for a ceremony recognizing local residents who served in the armed forces.
At 12 noon, the LaRosa Boys and Girls Club, 901 Ravine St., will hold its 51st annual Veterans Day Program.
Master of Ceremonies will be Walt Yager, assisted by City Administrator Tom Maglicco and Councilman Jim Barry.
Program guests will include state Sen. Jim Brewster, McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko and Allegheny County Councilman Bob Macey.
Other guests will include members of the family of the late Sam LaRosa, founder of the McKeesport Boys Club; representatives of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the Port Vue/Liberty Rifle Squad.
Veterans Day, which honors all past members of the armed services, should not be confused with Memorial Day, which honors those who died while in military service.
Originally called "Armistice Day," Nov. 11 was first set aside as a national holiday in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson, who asked Americans to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the end of the first World War.
"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 nations," Wilson wrote.
In 1926, the U.S. Congress asked President Coolidge to make Armistice Day an annual holiday, and a congressional act in 1938 made Nov. 11 of each year a legal holiday.
In 1945, a World War II veteran named Raymond Weeks asked the U.S. government to change Armistice Day into a holiday to honor all American veterans --- not just those of World War I --- and in 1954, Congress officially changed the name of the holiday to "Veterans Day."
(Image: David Yu photograph via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license.)
Originally published November 10, 2017.