Here’s a little bit of history concerning Veterans Day. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said:
“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.”
A Congressional Act approved on May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November of each year a legal holiday: “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.”
In 1945, WWII veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans. Weeks approached Gen. Dwight Eisenhower with his idea. The General supported Weeks idea of a National Veterans Day.
I am proud to be the daughter of an Army serviceman, a Corporal who served his country with distinction and honor. He considered his time in the military a great milestone in his life. What makes this Veterans Day so poignant is that my dad is no longer here to celebrate this day with me. So instead of spending time together and maybe going out to lunch, I’ll spend my day sharing memories of him with family or visiting the cemetery…or both.
I am also proud to be the cousin, niece, great-niece, great grand-niece and friend of men and women who answered our nation’s call to duty.
Restaurants are paying tribute to active and retired military personnel by offering promotions for Veterans Day. If you can, please take advantage and honor a veteran you know as a thank you for service to our country and a job well done.
What about you? Do you have family and/or friends who defended our nation in war and/or peace time? How will you spend your Veterans Day?