Tuesday, November 11, 2003

We Honor those who served
Veterans Day 2003



Whitey Yanov - WWII


In 1921, an American soldier—his name “known but to God”—was buried on a Virginia hillside overlooking the Potomac River and the city of Washington, DC. The burial site of this unknown World War I soldier in Arlington National Cemetery symbolized dignity and reverence for America’s veterans. Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in England and France, where an “unknown soldier” of the Great War was buried in each nation’s highest place of honor (in England, Westminster Abbey; in France, the Arc de Triomphe).

These memorial gestures all took place on November 11, giving universal recognition to the celebrated ending of World War I hostilities at 11 a.m., November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). The day became known as “Armistice Day.”

In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day, and called upon Americans everywhere to rededicate themselves to the cause of peace. He issued a Presidential Order directing the head of the Veterans Administration, now the Department of Veterans Affairs, to form a Veterans Day National Committee to organize and oversee the national observance of Veterans Day. In addition to fulfilling that mission, the committee oversees the annual production and distribution of the Veterans Day Poster and this Veterans Day Teachers Resource Guide.

In 1968, Congress moved Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. However, it became apparent that the November 11 date was historically significant to a great many Americans. As a result, Congress formally returned the observance of Veterans Day to its traditional date in 1978.

from http://www.appc1.va.gov/vetsday/

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