Saturday, November 12, 2016

History of Veterans Day

By Jim Emerson, staff writer
The Great War--World War I--officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. November 11, 1918 is generally regarded as the end of “The Great War.”  
One year later, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. He declared, "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
Armistice Day, a day of celebration was observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.  In 1926 The United States Congress officially recognized November 11 as the end of World War I by passing a concurrent resolution stating: the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples. 
A Congressional Act 5 U.S. Code § 6103 – Holidays, approved on 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 was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I. In 1954, after World War II and the Korean War, the act was amended by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.  

On October 8th, 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation that called for the proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.

 Veterans Day is a time for Americans to pay respect to those who served. For one day, vets and American citizens stand united to show respect for America’s veterans. It’s a grateful nation saying “Thank You.”

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