Veterans Day is a day for Americans to thank our veterans and celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all United States veterans, both male and female. Some Americans may not know why we salute our veterans annually on Nov. 11; but as Americans it is quite imperative that we all learn the importance and history of this day so we can properly honor our servicemen and women.
Veterans Day, once known as Armistice Day, was established to commemorate the end of WWI which officially ended on Nov. 11, 1918, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
In 1938 legislation passed and Nov. 11 was dedicated to the cause of world peace and celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” This new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.
In 1954, after World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress amended the Act of 1938 and Armistice Day was changed to “Veterans Day.” Thus, Veterans Day became a day to celebrate the veterans of all wars.
In 1968, the Uniform Holiday Act was enacted. Under this law, Veterans Day was moved to the last Monday of October. After the change of date, the meaning of Veterans Day became ambiguous and the holiday was celebrated with much confusion.
On Sept. 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a new law which returned the observance of Veterans Day to its former date of Nov. 11. Since 1978, Veterans Day has been observed on Nov. 11.
On Aug. 4, 2001, United States Senate Resolution No. 143 was passed, designating the week of Nov. 11 through Nov. 17 as National Veterans Awareness Week. It calls for educational efforts directed at elementary- and secondary-school students concerning the contributions and sacrifices of our veterans.
Fallen veterans are remembered on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, but Nov. 11 is set aside mainly for the thanking and honoring of veterans who served honorably in the military during war time or peace time. It is an occasion to honor those who served America in all wars. Annually, the president of the United States urges all Americans to honor this commitment to our veterans.
Our duty is to take today and honor those who live among us who made that choice to serve. You are responsible for remembering the history, the stories and the valor of all American soldiers.
By Evan Tidwell