This article repeats the message we sent last year, but it is very important that all Americans, especially our young people, understand what Veterans Day is all about. Thursday, November 11th, will be Veterans Day. We aren’t history teachers, yet we want to share information about this important observance. Originally known as Armistice Day, it was set aside as a day to honor the military servicemen who fought so valiantly in World War I. Here is part of a resolution made by Congress on June 4, 1926:
“Whereas the 11th of November, 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations;”
At the time this was written in 1926, WWI was called “the end of the war to end all wars”. In 1938, Congress made Armistice Day a legal holiday. Then World War II was declared, which required the greatest mobilization of military in our history. Next, we entered the Korean War. The holiday name was changed in 1954 to Veterans Day in order to honor veterans of all wars we have been engaged in. Since then, we have been engaged in the Viet Nam War, Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Iraq, and Afghanistan. “The resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed” – those words reflected the hopes of people that had gone through war, but sadly, battles continue.
The purpose of Veterans Day is a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
Our forefathers who wrote the above quote had no idea what the future would bring. They thought WWI was the Big One. We are a great nation and we need to look back on those words and try to follow their hopes for us. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the brave men and women who have fought so courageously, and to those who continue in their footsteps. Let’s hope someday, somehow they will be able to serve our country in a safer, peaceful world.
Source: US Department of Veterans Affairs