By Rebecca Price Janney, Nov 9 2017 06:01PM
Veterans Day is one of those holidays that seem to have been around practically forever, but its official observance is actually less than 100 years old.
On November 11, 1918 four horrific years that had plunged the entire world into conflict at last came to an end. Although the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, for most people the date of November 11, 1918 represented the end of the Great War.
To mark the first anniversary of the end of the war, President Woodrow Wilson created Armistice Day on November 11, 1919. Thirty states made this a holiday, and elsewhere in the world countries observed “Remembrance Day.” In 1926, Congress passed a resolution to make the date a regular observance, to remember and to honor our nation’s veterans. Congress said the “recurring anniversary of (November 11, 1918) should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.”
Twelve years later, November 11th became a U.S. holiday, and on June 1, 1954 the name was changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. Veterans, not just though who had served in the First World War.
As we observe Veterans Day this year, please share stories of veterans from your family. Also, please let me know if you do anything specific to thank or serve these brave men and women.
As I’ve mentioned before, my maternal grandfather, Harry Kocher, served in the U.S. Army during WWI, and my father, several uncles, and aunt were in WWII and its aftermath. One cousin was in the Navy during the Vietnam War. My husband’s father and several uncles were in the armed services; one uncle died in the Sea of Japan during WWII. From the beginning of our nation’s history, my family has served in every war, and for that, I am truly grateful. God bless our veterans! God bless America.
I sometimes forget how young a lot of people were when they served in the armed forces. One of my uncles who was in the Navy in World War 2 died few years ago. When I learned his age, I realized that he must have joined the Navy at age 17, as soon as he could enlist.
Yes, they really were so young. They didn't seem so when I was a girl, but like you, now I understand.