I think we all know what Veteran’s Day stands for, but how many of us truly know the history behind Veteran’s Day? I did a little research and thought I’d share. The more knowledge you have, the more poignant and inspiring the day becomes.
In 1918, a temporary halt to all hostilities was mandated until the final peace treaty between the Allies and Germany was signed in Versailles. This began Armistice Day, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of November. The following year, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first official Armistice Day by saying, “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. “ The original concept of Armistice Day was for all business to be suspended for 2 minutes beginning at 11 a.m. with parades and public meetings also being held.
In 1921, Congress passed legislation approving the establishment of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. November 11th was the date chosen for the ceremony. Congress also declared November 11th a Federal holiday to honor all who participated in the war.
In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name ‘Armistice Day’ to ‘Veteran’s Day’, and it continues to honor and pay respect to all who have honorably served and defended our great nation.
With great respect and admiration, I humbly thank every man and woman who has served our country in both peace times and in war. Your sacrifice and dedication will never be forgotten, and the words ‘thank you’ will never be enough for what you have endured. From Germany to Japan, Vietnam to Korea, Iraq to Afghanistan, you have kept us free. To the families who have kept the home-fires burning, the light on in the dark and the yellow ribbon tied around the tree, I also honor and thank you. God Bless Our Troops, and God Bless the United States of America.