History of Veterans Day: Veterans Day is a very important holiday in the United States. Sadly, many people don't know the importance, significance and history of this holiday. It is far more than just a "3-day weekend!
Veterans Day is a legal holiday in the United States dedicated to all American veterans of all wars currently living. Commemorated in countries around the world as Armistice Day. An "armistice" is a temporary cessation of hostilities.
It is not the same thing as Memorial Day (originally called Decoration Day) is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.
The American effort during World War II saw the greatest mobilization of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines in our nation's history.
In 1954, lobbying efforts by veterans' service organizations to the U.S. Congress caused the 83rd Congress to rename the holiday from "Armistice" to "Veterans." It was signed into legislation by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. From then on, it became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act which sought to ensure three-day weekends for all federal employees. The belief that it would encourage tourism and travel.
Did you know that red poppies are a symbol of World War I from their appearance in the poem by John McCrae "In Flanders Fields"? In many countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, poppies are sold on Veterans Day and worn on the lapel as a tribute to veterans.
In Flanders Fields by John McCrae:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
For more information on this poem, click here.
In the United States, an official wreath-laying ceremony is held each Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. Parades are often held in states around the country.
Many organizations also place flags on graves of many soldiers in various cemeteries.
I pray you have enjoyed this brief History of Veterans Day.
God bless all who have served our nation!
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