President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919 to honor all World War I veterans. Over the years, the day expanded to honor veterans of all wars.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the holiday into law in 1954. Nov. 11 has been known as Veterans Day ever since and honors what is now approximately 25 million veterans in the United States.

In our neighborhood alone, there are many veterans. As a community, we thank our veterans for their sacrifices and service to our country. John and Beth Weant, on Bond Mill Road, are proudly displaying their Marine Corps and American flags in honor of Veterans Day 2011.

This is the time of year when the holidays are just a matter of weeks away. There are many dates to remember now, so mark your calendars.


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West Laurel's 12th annual Operation Christmas Child shoe box-filling party is tomorrow, Nov. 11, from 2:30 to 5 p.m., at the West Laurel Community Building. It's all about the power of a simple gift, to show neglected children in more than 100 countries worldwide that someone cares and that they matter.

To help out, you can bring school supplies; hygiene items such as soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes; and small toys for boys and girls to the party. You can also help with shipping costs by donating $7; checks can be made out to "Samaritan's Purse." Contacts are Kim Monroe, 15705 Wayne Ave., 301-776-8256; and Kim Passmore, 15901 Kerr Road, 240-997-9112. Filled shoe boxes or donations may be dropped off at either address in a donation bin no later than Nov. 11 or at the shoe box-filling party.

Bond Mill Elementary School will hold its 29th annual Craft Fair on Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Shop for holiday gifts, home decor and craft items. Breakfast, lunch and bake-sale items will be for sale.

Come on up and meet your neighbors and catch up on the real West Laurel news.

Tom's 10th annual 5k Reindeer Run is Nov. 26, at 9 a.m, at the West Laurel Community Building. The race is held in loving memory of Tommy Linsenmeyer and benefits Sarah's House.

Prizes and refreshments will follow the race. Santa will make his first West Laurel appearance.

To register online, go to http://www.tomsreindeerrun.org or call John Linsenmeyer at 443-896-7561. Begin the holiday season on the right hoof.

The GFWC Woman's Club of Laurel will hold its annual Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 3. Enjoy a yummy homemade pancake and sausage breakfast with the children, grandchildren or even nieces and nephews. This is a great opportunity to take family pictures with Santa.

Reservations can be made for 8, 9, 10 or 11 a.m. Cost for children is $3; and cost for adults, 12 and older, is $6. Reservations are required; call 301-490-8053.

The Woman's Club clubhouse is at 384 Main St.

Attention seniors: The next Coffee with Seniors will be held on Dec. 1, at 1 p.m., at the Laurel-Beltsville Senior Activity Center, at 7120 Contee Road. Guest speaker will be Prince George's County Police Chief Mark Magaw.