IRON RANGE — On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the Armistice was signed inside a small train car in Forest Compiegne, France. World War I — or the “war to end all wars” — was over. In 1938, the anniversary of that signing would become a holiday known as Armistice Day in the United States. It was meant to be a time for honoring World War I veterans.
In 1954, through legislation, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, and on Nov. 11 of every year since, all American veterans of all wars are celebrated and honored.
Throughout the City of Hibbing and surrounding communities, there will be special Veterans Day programs happening to recognize those who have proudly and bravely served and sacrificed.
Here are some of the happenings, organized by day and location:
FRIDAY, NOV. 8
Nashwauk-Keewatin High School
An early Veterans Day ceremony is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. Friday in the NKHS gym. The program is open to veterans and their families and will include Color Guard members from Nashwauk American Legion, Pengilly VFW, and Keewatin American Legion. The NKHS Symphonic Band will play several songs to honor veterans, followed by a performance by the Deer River Ogichidaag Drum Group. They may smudge or smoke a pipe for cleansing with the four sacred herbs: cedar, sage, sweet grass and tobacco. The drum group will play the Flag Song and Honor Song to honor Native Americans serving in the military. A lunch will follow for veterans and active military members, hosted by the school’s Ojibwe classes.
MONDAY, NOV. 11
Hibbing Memorial Building
The Veterans House Committee is set to host a Veterans Day Celebration beginning at 11 a.m. at the Hibbing Memorial Building. The Mid-Range Honor Guard will be there to do a 21-gun salute outside. There will also be a Color Guard presentation and performance by the students from Victory Christian Academy in the dining room. The VCA students will sing several military songs as well as a song of their own and distribute cards for veterans. Afterward, there will be a short program recognizing area veterans with a celebratory lunch to follow.
Mike’s Pub, Hibbing
Veterans who show their military ID card on Monday can eat for free at a special Chicken Buffet at Mike’s Pub on Howard Street. The buffet will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will include baked chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, mixed vegetables and dessert.
Assumption Catholic School, Hibbing
At 8 a.m. the school is expected to serve free breakfast to veterans and their families through a partnership between the school and Knights of Columbus. At 9 a.m. the students will go into St. Leo’s Hall in the school for a program honoring veterans, which is open to veterans and their families. Students will sing service songs.
The celebration will continue on Tuesday when the American Red Cross is set to partner with the school for a blood drive to honor veterans. Call the school ahead to schedule an appointment.
At 9 a.m., there will be a program honoring veterans that will include the school band, Honor Guard and the Boy Scouts. The school’s 6th grade choir will sing.
Chisholm High School
At 10 a.m. the Chisholm Elementary students will go to the Chisholm High School auditorium, where a Veterans Day program will take place that is open to veterans and their families.
TUESDAY, NOV. 12
Greenhaven Elementary School, Hibbing
At 9:30 a.m., the school will be serving free donuts and refreshments to veterans and their families. At 10 a.m., there will be an assembly in the gym, where the Color Guard will hold a flag ceremony. There will also be a tribute song, and the students will sing the National Anthem.
Washington Elementary School, Hibbing
At 9 a.m., veterans and their families are invited to the gym, where the Northern Lights Choir from Hibbing High School will sing the National Anthem and another patriotic song. The VFW Color Guard will hold a flag ceremony, followed by more songs and the Pledge of Allegiance. There will also be a time to honor veterans that served in the various branches or are serving currently followed by the student song, “Thank a Vet.”