Veteran's Day is a day dedicated to honor all men and women, both living and deceased, who have served in the United States armed forces.
It is a somber reminder of the millions of Americans who have fought for freedom and the more than one million who have died for that cause.
It is also a good time to remind ourselves that we are Americans first before we are Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals.
In 1918, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month, the world rejoiced and celebrated. After four years of bitter war, an armistice was signed. The "war to end all wars" was over.
November 11, 1919 was set aside as Armistice Day in the United States, to remember the sacrifices that men and women made during World War I in order to ensure a lasting peace. On Armistice Day, soldiers who survived the war marched in a parade through their home towns. Politicians and veteran officers gave speeches and held ceremonies of thanks for the peace they had won.
Congress voted Armistice Day a federal holiday in 1938, 20 years after the war ended. But Americans realized that the previous war would not be the last one. World War II began the following year and nations great and small again participated in a bloody struggle. After the Second World War, Armistice Day continued to be observed on November 11.
In 1953, townspeople in Emporia, Kansas called the holiday Veterans' Day in gratitude to the veterans in their town. Soon after, Congress passed a bill introduced by a Kansas congressman renaming the federal holiday to Veterans' Day. In 1971, President Nixon declared it a federal holiday on the second Monday in November.
Americans still give thanks for peace on Veterans' Day. There are ceremonies and speeches and at 11:00 in the morning, most Americans observe a moment of silence, remembering those who fought for peace.
After the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War, the emphasis on holiday activities has shifted. There are fewer military parades and ceremonies. Veterans gather at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. to place gifts and stand quiet vigil at the names of their friends and relatives who fell in the Vietnam War. Families who have lost sons and daughters in wars turn their thoughts more toward peace and the avoidance of future wars.
Veterans of military service have organized support groups such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. On Veterans' Day and Memorial Day, these groups raise funds for their charitable activities by selling paper poppies made by disabled veterans. This bright red wildflower became a symbol of World War I after a bloody battle in a field of poppies called Flanders Field in Belgium.
Armistice Day Changed To Honor All Veterans
An answer to the question of how to pay tribute to those who had served in this latest, great war came in a proposal made by Representative Edwin K. Rees of Kansas: Change Armistice Day to Veterans Day, and make it an occasion to honor those who have served America in all wars. In 1954 President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day.
On Memorial Day 1958, two more unidentified American war dead were brought from overseas and interred in the plaza beside the unknown soldier of World War I. One was killed in World War II, the other in the Korean War. In 1973, a law passed providing interment of an unknown American from the Vietnam War, but none was found for several years. In 1984, an unknown serviceman from that conflict was placed alongside the others. To honor these men, symbolic of all Americans who gave their lives in all wars, an Army honor guard, The 3d U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard), keeps day and night vigil.
A law passed in 1968 changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent, however, that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans. Therefore, in 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date.
National Ceremonies Held at Arlington
The focal point for official, national ceremonies for Veterans Day continues to be the memorial amphitheater built around the Tomb of the Unknowns. At 11 a.m. on November 11, a combined color guard representing all military services executes "Present Arms" at the tomb. The nation's tribute to its war dead is symbolized by the laying of a presidential wreath. The bugler plays "taps." The rest of the ceremony takes place in the amphitheater.
Veterans Day ceremonies at Arlington and elsewhere are coordinated by the President's Veterans Day National Committee. Chaired by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the committee represents national veterans organizations.
Governors of states and U.S. territories appoint Veterans Day chairpersons who, in cooperation with the National Committee and the Department of Defense, arrange and promote local ceremonies.
We need to show more sympathy for the following people.
I'm not talking about illegal aliens; I'm talking about our troops! God bless them! Doesn't it seem strange that many Democrats and Republicans are willing to lavish all kinds of social benefits on illegals, but don't support our troops and often threaten to de-fund them?
Veterans Day Quiz - Everyone knows about Veterans Day. But what do you "really" know about this holiday and the American veterans it celebrates? Take this quiz and find out.
Veteran's Day Resource Guide - A multitude of links to Veteran's Day, veteran's organizations, celebrations of Veteran's Day and related veterans sites.
David Hall was a true American patriot that was known for his traveling Liberty Bell. David has been seen at funeral after funeral where Patriot Guard in
every Military Texas Funeral hold flags in hand and a silent salute to show their support and respect. Click
here for more details!
Send a Veteran a FREE e-card on Veteran's Day:
Follow the links at the bottom right of each page and in the "Veteran's Day Links" box (upper left) to complete the Veteran's Day tour.
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