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Veterans Day World War I Ended On The 11Th Hour Of The 11Th Day Of The 11Th Month Of 1918 And All Was Quiet On The Western Front...


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Veterans Day World War I Ended On The 11Th Hour Of The 11Th Day Of The 11Th Month Of 1918 And All Was Quiet On The Western Front...

Veterans Day is set aside to honor all those who served their country in war and peace. It is also known as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower legally changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day, honoring all war veterans. 

 

Raymond Weeks of Birmingham, Alabama, organized an Armistice Day parade for that city on November 11, 1947, to honor Veterans for their loyalty. Later, U.S. Representative Edward H. Rees of Kansas proposed legislation changing the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor all Veterans who have served America.

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming Nov. 11 as Veterans Day and called upon Americans everywhere to re-dedicate themselves to the cause of peace. He issued a presidential order directing the head of the then-known Veterans Administration (now the Department of Veterans Affairs) to form a Veterans Day National Committee to organize and oversee the national observance of Veterans Day.

In 1968, Congress moved Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. However, it became apparent that Nov. 11—the end of World War I—was historically significant to many Americans. As a result, Congress formally returned the observance of Veterans Day to its traditional date in 1978.

2023-Poster_r1.jpgTomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on Nov. 11 at Arlington National Cemetery. At 11 a.m., a color guard made up of members from each military branch renders honors to America’s war dead during a tradition-rich ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The president or his representative places a wreath at the tomb, and a bugler sounds taps. The balance of the ceremony, including a parade of flags by numerous Veteran Service Organizations, takes place inside the Memorial Amphitheater, next to the tomb.

Each year, there is a competition to design the Veterans Day poster. This year, there were more than 60 entries from people ranging from school-aged children to graphic designers with decades of experience. When all ballots were tallied, “The Bugler” by Gene Russell, a service-connected disabled Army Infantry Veteran and VA employee, was selected.

Here are links to some Veterans Day events around the country.

View the full article.

The Great War & Armistice Day

Though the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, November 11 remained in the public imagination as the date that marked the end of the Great War. In November 1918, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. The day's observation included parades, public gatherings, and a brief pause in business activities at 11 a.m. On November 11, 1921, an unidentified American soldier killed in the war was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.; the U.S. Congress had declared the day a legal federal holiday in honor of all those who participated in the war. On the same day, unidentified soldiers were laid to rest at Westminster Abbey in London and at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
 
On June 4, 1926, Congress passed a resolution that the "recurring anniversary of [November 11, 1918] should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations" and that the president should issue an annual proclamation calling for the observance of Armistice Day. By then, 27 state legislatures had made November 11 a legal holiday. An act approved May 13, 1938, made November 11 a legal Federal holiday, "dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day.'" In actuality, there are no U.S. national holidays because the states retain the right to designate their own, and the government can only designate holidays for federal employees and the District of Columbia. In practice, however, states almost always follow the federal lead.
 
 

From Armistice Day to Veterans Day

American effort during World War II (1941-1945) saw the greatest mobilization of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force in the nation's history (more than 16 million people); some 5.7 million more served in the Korean War (1950 to 1953). In 1954, after lobbying efforts by veterans’ service organizations, the 83rd U.S. Congress amended the 1938 act that had made Armistice Day a holiday, striking the word "Armistice" in favor of "Veterans." President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the legislation on June 1, 1954. From then on, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
 
The next development in the story of Veterans Day unfolded in 1968 when Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill. This bill sought to ensure three-day weekends for federal employees and encourage tourism and travel by celebrating four national holidays (Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day) on Mondays.
 
The observation of Veterans Day was set as the fourth Monday in October. The first Veterans Day under the new law was Monday, October 25, 1971; confusion ensued as many states disapproved of this change and continued to observe the holiday on its original date. In 1975, after it became evident that the actual date of Veterans Day carried historical and patriotic significance to many Americans, President Gerald R. Ford signed a new law returning the observation of Veterans Day to November 11th beginning in 1978. If November 11 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the federal government observes the holiday on the previous Friday or the following Monday, respectively.
 
 

Celebrating Veterans Day Around the World

Britain, France, Australia, and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World Wars I and II on or near November 11th: Canada has Remembrance Day, while Britain has Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday of November). In Europe, Britain, and the Commonwealth countries, it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11.
 
In the United States, an official wreath-laying ceremony is held each Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery, while parades and other celebrations are held in states around the country. Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day, which is a common misunderstanding, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Memorial Day (the fourth Monday in May) honors American service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle, while Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans--living or dead--but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

 


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