The History of Veteran’s Day
November 11, or what has come to be known as Veteran’s Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor Armistice Day the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislature that was passed in 1938, November 11 was dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as Armistice Day. As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.
In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress, at the urging of the veteran’s service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word Armistice and inserting the word Veteran’s. With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill insured three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, and Columbus Day. Under this bill,Veteran’s Day was moved to the last Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971.
Finally on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on November 11.
Celebrating the Holiday
If the November, 11 holiday falls on a non-workday, Saturday or Sunday, the holiday is observed by the federal government on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday). Federal government closings are established by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; a complete schedule can be found here. State and local government closings are determined locally, and non-government businesses can close or remain open as they see fit, regardless of Federal, state or local government operation determinations.
United States Senate Resolution 143, which was passed on August 4, 2001, designated the week of November 11 through November 17, 2001, as National Veteran’s Awareness Week. The resolution calls for educational efforts directed at elementary and secondary school students concerning the contributions and sacrifices of veterans.
Thanks to each and everyone of you for your service to this great country. You have made a difference! For that you can be proud..…
U S Legacies Magazine November 2005
by Helen V Lundt
A braided rug, green and brown, on the parlor floor.
Some logs piled there, upon the hearth, as you come in the door,
lead to the red brick fireplace, toasty warm and bright.
It’s cold outside, twenty below, but cozy here tonight.
Aged photos look at me from various stands around,
bringing back memories so very rich and sound
of days when life was oh-so-sweet. Then how could we know,
that we would sit here, looking- tearing- smiling at them so.
My boy and girl are gone now, grown and flown away
to start their lives as we had done on our grownup day.
The time will come, years from now, when they will sit and look
at pictures of their past - enlarged and framed - they once took.
But now we’re here all alone. Red flowers on the sill
match the ones my Janie wore, surrounded by white frill.
See them in the picture that sits next to the pane,
contrasted by such white teeth in the smile of my sweet Jane.
Piano keys across the room, lonely for the touch
of tender fingers, scrolling cross, practicing so much.
I hear the tones, chords and trills of yesteryear’s light tunes,
as though being played right now, in our living room.
Good thoughts, great memories, are what our past now shows.
Thank God for all those moments - and for our future growth.
U S Legacies Magazine November 2005