Every year on Veterans Day and Memorial Day Post 66 places a small flag on the grave of each veteran in the three cemeteries in the city of San Luis Obispo at about 8 o'clock in the morning on the Sunday prior and take them down late afternoon on the Monday.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the men and women who died while serving in the country's armed forces. The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
Veterans Day is an important day for all Legionnaires as we honor the service all those who haved served and is currently serving our great Nation.
Veterans Day is an official United States holiday that honors all those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, also known as veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I (major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect). The United States also originally observed Armistice Day; it then evolved into the current Veterans Day holiday in 1954.
Like many counties across America, San Luis Obispo conducts a Veterans Stand D0wn each year for homelss veterans and veterans at risk of being homeless. Post 66 and The American Legion supports the efforts of public and private sector agencies and organizations that aid homeless veterans and their families. Additionally, the Legion supports legislative proposals to provide medical, rehabilitative and employment assistance to homeless veterans and their families.
According to the VA web site,
"Stand Downs are typically one- to three-day events providing supplies and services to homeless Veterans, such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings and VA Social Security benefits counseling. Veterans can also receive referrals to other assistance such as health care, housing solutions, employment, substance use treatment and mental health counseling. They are collaborative events, coordinated between local VA Medical Centers, other government agencies and community-based homeless service providers."
As in most Stand Downs, the activities and support given to veterans in San Luis Obispo County are performed by volunteers. Members of our Post 66 family provide volunteers to help feed veterans attending the Stand Down as well as other important support. Volunteers come together for a 2-3 day period each year, providing housing, food, and TLC to homeless veterans and their dependents that are brought or come in off the streets.
The tradition of Setting of the Missing Man Table acknowledges the sacrifice of those who are missing and all who have not return. The round table and each piece of the setting are representative of the life that is missing. Each item from the single red rose that represents the blood shed and lives lost to the empty chair which symbolizes our companions who are no longer present provides recognition of our POWs, MIAs and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.