On this Veterans Day, I want to share with you a little bit of history from CNN Student News:
On November 11, Americans pay tribute to everyone who has served in the U.S. military. But why was this particular date chosen, and how does this holiday differ from Memorial Day?
“World War I, also known as “The Great War,” was fought from 1914 to 1918. During this conflict, Great Britain, France, Russia, Belgium, Italy, Japan, the United States and other countries, which formed the “Allies,” defeated the so-called “Central Powers,” which included Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey (then the Ottoman Empire) and Bulgaria. On the “eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month” of 1918, German leaders signed an armistice, or a halt to hostilities, with the Allied powers. On that date, November 11, celebrations were held in New York City, Paris, London, and in other cities around the globe. The following year, President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11 as “Armistice Day,” a day to observe the end of World War I.
On June 4, 1926, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution asking President Calvin Coolidge to call upon officials to “display the flag of the United States on all government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.” Twelve years later, on May 13, 1938, Congress passed an Act making the 11th of November Armistice Day, a federal holiday.
Initially, Armistice Day was supposed to honor veterans of World War I. But after the call to arms and human sacrifices during World War II and the Korean conflict, veterans’ groups urged Congress to consider a day to celebrate U.S. veterans of all wars. On June 1, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
Difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day
Veterans Day in the United States is a day to honor all Americans who have served in the U.S. military, both during wartime and in peace. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring Americans who have died serving the nation, especially those who died in battle or from wounds received during armed conflicts. On Veterans Day, Americans thank the living veterans for their service to the country and recognize all who have served the country.”
Not forgetting our veterans means more than putting up your flag, getting a day off from work, or even marching in a parade. What more? Those veterans who sacrificed limbs, hearing, and vision are still sacrificing for their country every single day of their lives. Their supportive families are also still sacrificing: keeping the family going while tending to the needs of their injured loved one and offering emotional support, all while holding themselves together.
We – all of us – need to really show these families how much we appreciate their commitment to every person and family in America by lightening their burden. OPERATION FAMILY FUND – with absolutely no overhead (that is, no monies kept for even a telephone bill) has been helping veteran families with financial support so that they can keep their homes, the family car, have food on the table and clothe their children…maintaining their dignity in the face of potentially life-long physical problems which make wage-earning even more difficult than it is in our current climate.
Our military is all voluntary…so remember that these folks chose to protect their fellow Americans knowing it could mean life and limb. The rest of us should choose to protect our vets and their families.