Honoring Our Soldiers on Veterans Day

Veterans-day1We all know Veterans Day as a day to give thanks for the many men and women who have served and sometimes died for our great country but where and how did this Holiday come about? First things first though, we need to get the spelling correct. Is it Veterans Day, Veteran’s Day, or Veterans’ Day? I was actually unsure of this and to be honest with you, I started the blog off as “Veterans’ Day”. Come to find out, all 3 ways are correct, yet the US government has formally declared that it is properly titled as Veterans Day. Whoo, I was worried I was going to get picked on for not knowing the answer, and before I do, let’s keep it moving…

Following the end of World War I in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson set aside November 11 as Armistice Day. November 11 was the symbolic end of the war which was marked by the Armistice at Rethondes, France between the Allies and Germany. There, on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, the Armistice was signed into effect and is now generally regarded as the moment when World War I ended. At that point in History, World War I was the deadliest war of all time with over 16.5 million casualties worldwide, including 116,708 American casualties. It was immediately declared a national holiday by many allied powers. Many nations around the world commemorated these fallen soldiers and the “cause of world peace” at 11:00am by observing two minutes of silence. This remained how it was generally observed until 1939, when during World War II, people began observing the moments of silence on the Sunday closest to November 11th so that there would be no interference with wartime activities.

In 1953, following World War 2, a man by the name of Al King proposed the name to be changed “All Veterans Day”. Al King worked directly with the American War Dads during World War 2 and knew many of the fallen soldiers and their families of WW2. Then, with the help of US Rep. Ed Reese, who also was from King’s hometown of Emporia, Kansas, a bill was passed through congress and eventually signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on May 26, 1954 officially changing the name to “Veterans Day”.

DF-SC-84-11899Today there are many activities on November 11th…from parades to memorial services to ceremonies. We honor the memories and lives of America’s bravest men and women. We give thanks for our freedoms and understand the prices that have been paid for them. Candles are lit, services are held, and flags are displayed. We ask that this November 11th you lift up these brave soldiers in your heart and give thanks to the men and women currently overseas protecting this great nation!

One Response

  1. Readers may also be interested in the writings home from the front of US Sgt. Sam Avery. Fascinating eyewitness history from the hot sands along the Rio Grande to the cold mud along the Meuse. Letters are posted on the same day they were written from the trenches 91 years ago. Long before the Greatest Generation there was the Most Gallant Generation. Come visit the blog and march along.

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