Today, on Veterans Day, we pause to give thanks to those among us who have served or continue to serve in our armed forces.
Walking through our shops and offices we are reminded of those who served by seeing those on our team who made that sacrifice.
A brief history of Veterans Day
President Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919, as the first Armistice Day, marking the end of WWI. This was the one year anniversary of the conclusion of that engagement.
The United States Congress officially recognizes 1918 as the end of WW1 with this proclamation.
Congress approved legislation making November 11 a legal holiday, dedicated to the cause of world peace with the official name of Armistice Day.
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far-reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through goodwill and mutual understanding between nations; and
Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the 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.
At the urging of veteran organizations, congress, amended the 1938 legislation at the request of veteran organizations striking the word “Armistice” and replacing it with “Veterans.” The holiday had evolved from a recognition of WWI veterans to a time to recognize and say thanks to all those who served in all conflicts.
The Uniforms Holiday Bill was signed in 1968, ensuring three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. The first Veterans Day celebrated under the new law was observed on Oct. 25, 1971.
President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. This significant change helps our country focus attention on the original purpose of Veterans Day, not just adding a Monday holiday to our calendars.
We celebrate those among us who served, no matter the conflict nor the branch of the military. It is a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
Thank you to all who served.