Rockwall YMCA honors veterans with special ceremony

ROCKWALL, TX – November 11, 2020 — The J.E.R. Chilton YMCA at Rockwall welcomed the Terry Fisher American Legion Post 117 of Rockwall, local dignitaries and officials, and veterans from the community to observe a special ceremony on Veterans Day. The outdoor event recognized and remembered those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and those who continue to serve our country for our freedoms.

“The YMCA has been playing an active role with the military since the Civil War, and we’re still doing that today” said J.E.R. Chilton YMCA at Rockwall District Executive Director Clint Elliott. “We have veterans discounts and active military memberships that we provide in the community as well. That’s just a small token of what we do to honor our veterans and those who have served our nation. The men and women in the Armed Services have sacrificed so much for our freedom and for our country. I just want to say thank you so much, and we are excited to be able to honor veterans today.”

Army veteran and Retired U.S. Secret Service Senior Special Agent Clarence Jorif provided a brief history of Veterans Day and its significance to those who serve and have served our country. World War I ended with the implementation of an armistice which signified the cessation of hostilities between the Allied Powers and Germany on the 11th hour of the 11th day in Nov. 1918. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Armistice Day celebration in America in 1919. The original concept for the celebration was to be a two minute suspension of business at 11 a.m., with the day marked by parades and public meetings.

In 1926, Congress adopted a resolution directing the President to issue a proclamation calling for the observance of Armistice Day. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, most states established Nov. 11th as a legal holiday at the federal level. Congress passed official legislation in 1938 effectively establishing Nov. 11th as a federal holiday called Armistice Day.

On June 1, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name of the federal holiday to Veterans Day.

Jorif welcomed former Secret Service Agent and 9/11 first responder Samantha Horwitz and Third Watch Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club President Brian Wilburn to speak on the struggles veterans face in regards to PTSD, and the resources available to help them today.

Horwitz, has spoken nationally to Law Enforcement, Veteran, business, and faith-based communities on how to recognize and combat the effects of PTS, how to minimize the damage stress can cause in the workplace, and how to support those who have PTS. She outlined a number of local resources for veterans battling PTSD, including the Veterans Resource & Outreach Center in Rowlett and Combined Arms, which recently opened an office in Dallas.

“Veterans and first responders, you are not alone in this battle,” Horwitz said. “There are so many people who want you to be well.”

By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News.

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