Honoring our Veterans
Why is this important: Veterans Day in the United States is a special day for Americans to say thank you to the men and women who have defended the freedom, liberty, and people of America. This is not to be confused with Memorial Day, which occurs on the fourth Monday of May. Memorial Day is set aside to morn and remember those in the armed services who died defending our freedom. Veterans day was originally called Armistice Day marking the end of World War I. Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all veterans who served in the armed services.
Veterans Day is always observed on November 11, the day that World War I ended.
The American Flag should be flown at half mast and a period of silence of two minutes should be observed at 11am. World War ended in the 11th month on the 11th day at 11O’clock.
A wreath-laying ceremony takes place in Arlington National Cemetery at the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier typically by the President of the United States.
Veterans Day is a federal holiday.
While Veterans Day as Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day in calendars and advertisements, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs website states that the attributive (no apostrophe) rather than the possessive case is the official spelling “because it is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.”
Woodrow Wilson inaugurated the first Armistice Day on November 11, 1919, and gave the following address to the country
ADDRESS TO FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN
The White House, November 11, 1919.
A year ago, today our enemies laid down their arms in accordance with an armistice which rendered them impotent to renew hostilities, and gave to the world an assured opportunity to reconstruct its shattered order and to work out in peace a new and juster set of international relations. The soldiers and people of the European Allies had fought and endured for more than four years to uphold the barrier of civilization against the aggressions of armed force. We ourselves had been in the conflict something more than a year and a half.
With splendid forgetfulness of mere personal concerns, we remodeled our industries, concentrated our financial resources, increased our agricultural output, and assembled a great army, so that at the last our power was a decisive factor in the victory. We were able to bring the vast resources, material and moral, of a great and free people to the assistance of our associates in Europe who had suffered and sacrificed without limit in the cause for which we fought.
Out of this victory there arose new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert. The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interests of men.
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 nations.
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
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Schneiders “Setting the Record Straight” #1005