Celebrating Our Veterans

This Saturday is National Veterans Day, where we as a nation celebrate those brave people who fight for our freedom every day and come back to tell their stories.

November 11 has been reserved since the end of World War I when fighting ceased at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918, a date cherished universally. On November 11, 1921, an unknown WWI soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery overlooking Washington D.C. According to the VA, similar ceremonies have occurred in other countries like England and France, where an unknown soldier is buried in various places of high honor like Westminster Abbey and the Arc de Triomphe. In 1926, Armistice Day was established in America after a congressional resolution, but was still not deemed a national holiday until twelve years later.

The first known celebration coining the name National Veterans Day occurred in Birmingham, Alabama in 1947, complete with a parade and activities for Veterans. Organized by Richard Weeks, a WWII Veteran, the celebration received nationwide recognition and resulted in celebrations throughout the country. U.S. Representative Edward Rees (R-KS) proposed that Armistice Day should be changed to Veterans Day, which was passed by Congress in 1954 and signed by President Dwight Eisenhower. In 1982, Raymond Weeks was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Ronald Reagan.

Along with a national celebration at Arlington National Cemetery, states and cities hold their own celebrations to honor their local veterans who live in the community. Long Island will be doing just that this Saturday with events for Veterans all over the Island.

The Veterans Day Cross Country 4K will be hosted by Sunken Meadow State Park, where all ages can sign up to run for our Veterans. Neighbors and friends can also head there to cheer on the participants. The run will begin at 10:00 a.m.

Patchogue United Veteran Organization will host their annual celebration at 10:30a.m. and the Four Corners in Patchogue Village recognizing “all Veterans, combat or non-combat, women or men, across all branches of service.” The celebration will include a parade, refreshments, and activities.

These types of celebrations are important for not only our Veterans, but also our civilians and our children. On Veterans Day, we celebrate those who were fortunate enough to come home and tell their stories. It is our job to be here to listen to them, hear what the fight for our freedom is truly like, and thank them for their selfless effort.

Falls Favorite Recipe: Thanksgiving Waldorf Salad

I know how this sounds; usually salad on Thanksgiving is unheard of. In some households, you’d be shunned for bringing salad. This recipe is so good, your family and friends will be thanking you by the end of the night. In my opinion, this salad is best as an appetizer before dinner; however I have heard it is also great as a side, or even after Thanksgiving is over to put your leftover turkey in. That is the best part about a salad; it’s completely customizable.

Thanksgiving Waldorf Salad

Four servings– Recipe inspired by Simply Recipes


6 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tbsp lemon juice

½ tsp salt

Pinch freshly ground pepper

2 green apples, cored and chopped

1 cup red grapes, halved

½ cup dried cranberries

1 cup celery, thinly sliced

1 cup candied walnuts, chopped


Make the candied walnuts:

Heat a medium, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup of halved walnuts, ¼ cup of white granulated sugar, and 1 tbsp unsalted butter. Heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently so the mixture doesn’t burn. When the sugar begins to melt, stir the mixture constantly until all the sugar is melted and the nuts are evenly coated. Remove from heat and transfer to parchment paper, separating the nuts as much as possible to let cool. Move quickly, they cool fast! Once hardened, add to salad.

Make the dressing: 

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Make the base:

Stir the apples, cranberries, celery, grapes, and candied walnuts into the bowl with the dressing.


If you do not care for the presentation of the dish, this salad can be enjoyed any way you please.

For a celebration like Thanksgiving or a dinner party, spoon the salad into a martini glass or coupe for a classy and unique appetizer presentation.

As a side dish, spoon salad onto a bed of fresh lettuce for added color and texture.


The original recipe of Waldorf Salad is made with mayonnaise; however, many adaptations of the salad prefer to substitute it with Greek yogurt. If this substitution is made, we suggest omitting the lemon juice in the dressing and add 1 tbsp of honey to balance the tartness.

Walnuts are commonly substituted with almonds or pecans. If candied nuts are not preferred, we recommend substituting with slightly toasted nuts.

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Kaitlyn Foley is an Entertainment and Lifestyle Reporter and Staff Writer for the Messenger Papers. She is the weekly author of our Seasonal Column on Page 17. As a graduate of The Fashion Institute of Technology, Kaitlyn has a passion for fashion journalism and creative writing. In addition to writing, Kaitlyn also works as one of our Media and Website Associates.