For most of us, Veterans Day comes once each year and its scheduled on a calendar date allowing banks, and schools to observe it. As an example, this year Veterans Day falls on a Sunday so it will be observed on Monday, the first workday of the week. The once-a-year observance has been going on since the Veterans Day designation began.
November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.” In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m. At the urging of the veterans service organizations, the government amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation.”
At first, the holiday was less a celebration, and more a somber prayer day in memory of those who lost their lives serving the country during World War I – the war to end all wars, as it was known. Today, Veterans Day represents a time in which whole communities get together for parades, barbecues, and a good-time-was-had-by-all event. It’s almost a direct resemblance to what takes place during our Fourth of July festivities. But ride by a veterans’ cemetery on this day of earned observance and without words spoken you will emotionally experience camaraderie with the millions of veterans who have served.
And for those of us who belong to the uncomfortably huge club known as American Veterans, the remembrances are and will remain everlasting. I don my Veterans cap proudly this once each year and usually without words salute those who have done the same. It’s a big club we’re in. We don’t pay dues; we’re all paid up for a lifetime. There is no voting for leadership, we’re all the same. There will not be campaigning or heralding of virtue, merely a hello, a salute, and perhaps a thank you for a job unselfishly done is all that is needed.
Have a healthy and happy Veterans Day everyone. And, oh yes, there is one more thing to be said. The reason our big club exists is here for all to share. God bless these United States of America and all the veterans who have helped to make it stand.
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