War Museum hosts special 'Taps' program on Veterans Day

Nov. 10—DANVILLE — "At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we will remember."

That phrase dates back to the autumn of 1919. It commemorated that date the year before when an Armistice had been declared as a prelude to the peace negotiations which brought the first World War to an end.

And in 2023 on Veterans Day, Danville will join communities throughout the country with a brief but poignant program sounding Taps in honor of all veterans.

"We invite veterans and community members to join us on Saturday, November 11th at 11 a.m. at the Vermilion County War Museum," said the museum's vice president and coordinator of the summertime Taps on Tuesday program, Larry Weatherford.

"This event is being held in co-operation with 'Taps Across America' and 'Taps for Veterans.' We're pleased and honored to have been asked to join in this nationwide event. Locally, we'll begin with the singing of our National Anthem. That will be followed by the reading of 'In Flanders Field' by Greg Green. A moment of silence in honor of all veterans will be observed. And then, U.S. Navy veteran Harold Puzey will sound Taps. Before or after this program, we invite everyone to come inside and visit the museum which honors all veterans, living and dead," Weatherford said.

Weatherford first became involved with the "Taps for Veterans" program several years ago by participating in the "100 Nights of Taps" program at the Gettysburg National Cemetery.

Jari Villanueva, a retired Air Force veteran who started both the "Taps for Veterans" and "Taps across America" programs said, "This honor of Taps commemorates the end of WW1 and the Armistice that followed. In the Commonwealth Countries November 11th (called Remembrance Day) is marked by solemn ceremonies and the sounding of the Last Post to remember and honor those who gave service during the "Great War." The United States saw 4.7 million Americans don the uniform with 2 million deployed to France between 1917 and 1919. Over 116,000 gave their lives. It is important that we remember their sacrifice each November 11th as well as to celebrate Veterans Day to honor our living men and women who wore the uniform."

"Of course, we look at every day as Veterans Day at the Vermilion County War Museum," Weatherford said. "But November 11th is always a particularly special day to remember and honor those who have served."

Admission to the museum is free through Nov. 11. There will be an open house on Veterans Day from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tours will be available throughout the day.

Individuals who would like to consider volunteering at the museum are welcome to meet with current volunteers and board members that day to discuss available opportunities.

Museum Board President Jim Kouzmanoff said, "We have a need for volunteers in several areas.

Those range from tour guides to front desk personnel to helping with typing, filing and organizing to cleaning to addressing Christmas cards for veterans. So, whether you can help out weekly, monthly or just at certain times of the year, we can utilize your talents."

The War Museum, which will mark its 25th anniversary next year on Veterans Day, is located at 307 N. Vermilion St., next to the Danville Public Library. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.