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Happy Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day, a day that we will honor and remember all of those that have served for our country. But not only should we thank these brave men and women, but we should also take a moment to think about the history of this holiday and think about all of the sacrifices that have been made by veterans for our country.

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “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 reason November 11th was chosen as the day for this special celebration comes from the ending of World War I. The war officially ended June 28, 1919, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. However, the fighting actually ended seven months earlier when an armistice or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, which acknowledged November 11th, 1918 as the ending day of the war and called for an anniversary on this date to give thanks and promote peace and understanding between nations. An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday, to be known as “Armistice Day”, which would be dedicated to the cause of world peace.

Originally, Armistice Day was a day to honor and celebrate the veterans from World War I. However, after World War II and after troops had been mobilized to fight aggressions in Korea, many thought the holiday might need to be updated. The act of 1938 was amended and the word “Armistice” was replaced by the word “Veterans”. On June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

For this Veterans Day, please honor all of the men and women who are currently serving and those who have died for our country. Remember our country’s rich history and all of the sacrifices that veterans have made to make our country and lives what they are today.

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