Friday, November 9, 2007

Veterans Day History and Thoughts


Veterans Day is only two days away on November 11th but how many people really know what Veterans Day is all about? Originally called Armistice Day in 1919 at the end of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the following:
"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 was for the holiday to be a day of parades and public meetings with a brief suspension of business at 11:00 a.m. to honor the Veterans of World War I - "the war to end all wars". Sadly, that was not the case and in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress amended the Act of 1938, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." At that time, November 11th became a day to honor all Veterans of all wars.

Because the government is the government and can't leave well enough alone most of the time, The Uniforms Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250) was passed on June 28, 1968 in an attempt to give all federal employees a three-day weekend when it came to our National Holidays - Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day. The first Veterans Day under this new law was celebrated on on October 25th, 1971 amongst a lot of confusion and not even close to the original date. On September 25th, 1975, after it became apparent that commemoration of Veterans Day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479) which returned the observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11th in 1978. It has since remained that date regardless of the day of the week on which it falls and is the date when all Americans should take the time to thank a veteran for his or her service to our country.

The day shouldn't be about Veterans Day sales at your local stores or about kids having the day off from school or banks and the post office being closed ... it should be about focusing on the important purpose of this day - a day set aside to celebrate and honor America's veterans for their patriotism, for their love of country, and for their willingness to sacrifice and serve for the common good.

My father was a veteran and served proudly in the United States Air Force for over twenty years. He retired with a Bronze Star medal, a Purple Heart medal, and exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam that would eventually turn into Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and end his life way too damned early. But he was proud to serve and I was proud of him - still am.

So for my Dad and to everyone else's Dad or Mom out there who served or is serving in the United States military, I ask you to take the time on November 11th to thank a veteran for his or her service to our country - no matter what you think of this current war or the wars that have gone on before it, we owe it to these fine people to remember them and honor them for what they do and have done.

Thank you!


  1. Good GRAVY, is that this weekend already?

    Thanks to all the brave men & women who served to keep our country free.

  2. Thank you for your service. Keep them safe from harm. Very well done Linda. :)

  3. What a wonderful tribute to your dad and to all the veterans who have served so bravely.

  4. It's Rememberance Sunday here Linda. The sentiments are the same though. x

  5. A fine Veteran's Day tribute.

    As Akelamalu says, we have Remembrance Sunday here in Britain. I don't think it's done with the same commitment as Veteran's Day is.

  6. We should be observing this holiday now more than ever. This weekend is the time to be thinking about issues confronting our troops and their families. A good way to get involved is to check out the the Wounded Warrior Project. It's a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness for U.S. troops severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. It really puts a face on the cost of this conflict. Here's a link:


  7. Veterans Day is the day I send a bouquet of Daisies for my father's crypt in Arizona. There is a line in Auld L'Ang syne about picking the "gowans fine". Gowans are daisies, so that's what the gentleman born in Scotland who was a lifer with the U.S. Army gets.

  8. Anonymous9:13 PM EST

    Touching post and tribute to your father and to all vets. Thanks for the information on this important day. I learned a lot.

    I'm sorry about your father's early death because of a war that we should have never been in.

    My father and hubby are vets and I thank you for thinking of all vets and military. (My father was a WWII vet and died from his injuries, PTSD and other issues from his service to our country)

  9. Anonymous9:19 PM EST

    Very well said, Linda. You put things into such a perspective with this post. :)

    Thank you for that.

  10. Anonymous9:48 PM EST

    Thank you for this post, Linda.
    I call my Papaw every Veteran's Day and thank him for his service and sacrifice. He served in the Navy during WWII on the U.S.S. Salt Lake City. I'm so proud of him. And I still get all frazzled with pride and excitement when I see a Marine or any other soldier in uniform in a public place. I've approached at least 3 in the last year to thank them.

  11. Amen.
    To all of those brave men and women who give up so much yet gain so much...
    Thank you.
    Thanks to you and your dear family, Linda!
    Our flag will be flying this weekend and Monday.

  12. Wishing all my veteran friends a Happy Veteran's Day....and I stole your video...

    ummm didn't mention that YOU'RE a veteran too huh?

  13. Mightymom's ARE a veteran, yet you didn't mention it. Well, THANK YOU for your service to our country. Just remember, you made sacrifices too! As Americans, we owe a debt of gratitude to veterans & forebears from ALL aspects of our country's history - during war AND peace! May you have a superb day, Linda!

  14. That is the truth, Veterans Day needs to be commerated on the day, at least this year 11/11 is on Monday.

    We'll go to the Ansonia program tomorrow at 1:00. Patti will actually do a story about a program on Monday that will include a dwindling number of WWII veterans.

    You do notice that when at a military funeral, they play 'Taps' and it sears through you. We can't ever forget the sacrifices veterans have made, which might mean a life sacrificed, but always for a noble cause.

    And I'm old enough when Memorial Day was only on the 31st, not another Monday...

    Your dad looks great. That was a brave man, and he paid the ultimate price. You are obviously proud of your dad, and rightly so.

  15. I echo Ralph's comments. You should be very proud of your dad. Receiving a Purple Heart is a great accomplishment.

    Happy Veterans' Day, Linda and thank you for your service.

  16. Thanks to your dad for his service and sacrifice.

    I prefer that Veterans Day is on Nov 11. And I am proud to work when that day falls during the week. I think it's the least I can at my job and show my appreciation for the men and women who make it possible for me to have a job and live as I do.

  17. ok, so I'm playing catch-up and as always, I'm late to the party...but I had to say two things here: 1. I consider having met your father a real honor and 2. Wow--I can see why your Mom snapped him up! I thought he was a nice looking guy at the time I met him, but wow--was he ever a looker back in the day! Smart lady, your Mom!


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