Amanda Simmons

The nation will pause to remember its service men and women this weekend.

Veterans Day is generally observed through parades, ceremonies and moments of silence. But what does this day mean to those who have worn the uniform and served?

Retired MSgt. Ray Urban, 97, said it’s a day to remind all veterans that their communities support and stand behind them.

“Let them know they are appreciated,” he said, “and keep the spirit of America alive.”

Urban, a Louisiana native, was attending Louisiana Tech when Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941. He was just 21 years old when he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. in January 1942.

After finishing boot camp, Urban joined the paratroopers. Unfortunately, his health didn’t allow him to stay in for very long.

He went on to serve in other areas before going overseas in June of 1943.

“We did get shelled by a Japanese submarine, but there wasn’t really any action,” Urban previously told the Press-Tribune. “I saw combat a couple times, but most of the combat had to do with being bombed and shelled rather than small arms fire.”

Living in a military community has its perks. Urban says it’s nice living where the military is appreciated and respected.

“I can’t say enough about it,” he said. “It’s nice to be remembered. That’s the biggest part of it. I’m proud to have been part of it. We’ve got a great country so we need to take care of it.”

Several Bossier schools will be hosting Veterans Day programs this week. The following is a list provided by Bossier Schools:

-Celebrating Our Veterans – Rusheon Middle School, 2401 Old Minden Road.

The Rusheon Rams invite you to attend their Veterans Day program Thursday, Nov. 9, to honor the men and women that have served and continue to valiantly serve our great nation. The program will be at 1 p.m. in the Rusheon Middle School gymnasium. Everyone is invited. 

-Benton High Veterans Program – Benton High School Gym, 6136 Hwy 3.

Benton High’s LA-951 JROTC program cordially invites you to attend an assembly to honor the fellow veterans among us on Friday, Nov. 10. A breakfast will be held at 8 a.m. in the school library for distinguished guests and veterans that would like to attend. The program will follow at 9 a.m. in the gym. 

-Veterans Tattoo Ceremony – Parkway High School Gym, 2010 Colleen Drive.

You are cordially invited to attend Parkway High’s Veterans Day Tattoo ceremony Friday, Nov. 10. The theme of this year’s amazing ceremony is Special Forces and in accordance, the guest speaker is former Navy Seal Lou Bremer. The ceremony begins at 9 a.m. Due to the anticipated large crowd, guests are asked to arrive by 8:40 and park in the south lot next to the gym. A reception will follow the Tattoo in the school library. 

-Patriots Honoring Patriots – Princeton Elementary, 1895 Winnfield Road.

The Princeton Elementary Patriots will be honoring our nation’s patriots at a Veterans Day assembly Friday, Nov. 10, at 9 a.m. in the school gym. A reception will immediately follow in the Princeton Cafeteria.  

-Veterans Day Sunset Ceremony – Veterans Memorial at the Bossier Civic Center, 620 Benton Road.

The Women Veterans of the Arklatex and the City of Bossier City will present a Veterans Day Week-end sunset ceremony from 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Airline High School JROTC will Present the Colors and CMSgt Shelley Cohen, Purple Heart recipient and Command Chief of the 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, will be the guest speaker. Everyone is invited to attend. Seated is limited and lawn chairs are welcome.