November 9th, 2013 12:01 PM by Joan Rusco
Can you imagine a war today where our great country would sacrifice 116,000 men and women? Can you imagine a war so great it would take the lives of 8½ million soldiers? Those are the numbers of lives lost in what was called The Great War or the war we now refer to as World War I. That war (to end all wars) ended on November 11, 1918. The fighting stopped at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (although the treaty to end the war was not signed until June of the following year).
November 11th was first known as Armistice Day. In 1938 it was officially dedicated as a federal holiday. Then came the wars that would follow. There was World War II (1941-1945), the Korean War (1950-1953) and, thanks to this nations veterans service organizations, the 83rd U.S. Congress changed the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954.
Congress (as usual) couldn't leave well enough alone and decided that federal workers should have holidays on Mondays so they could have 3 day weekends. In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill to ensure such weekends and Veterans Day was set to be celebrated on the fourth Monday of October. The first Veterans Day under this new law was observed on October 25, 1971. But what historical significance would that date have? Absolutely none! Many states began rebelling against this idea and brought pressure on Congress. In 1975 the federal government relented and President Gerald Ford signed a new law returning Veterans Day to November 11th.
The day is celebrated around the world. Canada has Remembrance Day. In Europe Britain and the Commonwealth countries observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11th.
Please do not make the common mistake of confusing this day with Memorial Day. This is the day to give thanks to all those veterans living and dead. Memorial Day is to pay honor to those who died in war.
VALoansMN joins all who gives thanks to those who have served and those that serve us today. We shall always be honored for the opportunity to return the service in any way we can.
I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot. -Gary Hart