The Rock Island National Cemetery will have a Veterans Day Ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at Rock Island National Cemetery, at the main flagpole., according to a news release.

The keynote speaker will be Col. Ronnie Anderson Jr., commander, Joint Munitions Command. Anderson, the 14th commander of JMC, is a native of Franklin, Indiana. He was commissioned as an ordnance officer from Purdue University in 1996.

Anderson has served in several key command and staff assignments including serving a combined 56 months in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait — more than four and a half years. JMC is a tenant organization headquartered on RIA. JMC provides the joint forces with ready, reliable, and lethal munitions at the speed of war, sustaining global readiness. JMC is the logistics integrator for life-cycle management of ammunition and provides a global presence of technical support to combat units wherever they are stationed or deployed.

The Veterans Day Ceremony will include a wreath placement as well as an honor salute and the sounding of “Taps.”

The history of Veterans Day

Veterans Day is intended to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime. A Congressional Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday – a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.”

Armistice Day had primarily been a day set aside to honor Veterans of World War I. However, following World War II and the Korean War, Veterans service organizations urged Congress to amend the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.”

With the approval of new legislation in 1954 (Public Law 380), Nov. 11 became a day to honor American Veterans of all wars.