Friday, November 11, 2005

Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day here in the US and Remembrance Day in Canada -- a time to thank and honor all those who have served their country. There will be ceremonies held at State Capitols and city halls across the nation, and many articles and news segments commeorating this day, and remembering servicemen of every branch.


Veterans Day originated with Armistice Day on November 11, celebrating the ending of World War I. After World War II, there were many new veterans who had little or no association with World War I. Leaders of Veterans' groups decided to try to correct this and make November 11 the time to honor all who had fought in various American wars, not just in World War I.

The name was changed to Veterans' Day by Act of Congress on May 24, 1954. In October of that year, President Eisenhower called on all citizens to observe the day by remembering the sacrifices of all those who fought so gallantly, and through rededication to the task of promoting an enduring peace.

A law passed in 1968 changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent, however, that November 11 was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens. Congress, therefore, enacted legislation (Public Law 94-97) which returned the observance of this special day to its traditional date beginning in 1978.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

To read more about Veterans Day, click here.

Other links:
Capital Times Editorial: Honoring Veterans
Cap Times Article: Remembrance: Our Fallen Wisconsin soldiers
Wis. State Journal: We can honor veterans without honoring war


Laura said...

Heather, Nov 11 is Rememberance Day here in Oz as well. We always stop for a minute silence at eleven o'clock. This year, I was on camp and at eleven, we were out on the ocean in kayaks. We rafted up together and spent a minute in silence. I was totally impressed by the way the kids didn't argue with it. Of course I had to explain why, but no one protested. I told them how proud I was afterwards.

Jana said...

Very cool. I don't think I knew that. Maybe I shoulda paid better attention in history class, eh?