Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Salute to Our Veterans

Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was "dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day.'" As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress ... at the urging of the veterans service organizations ... amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill ensured three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the last Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with confusion on Oct. 25, 1971.

Finally on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11th., beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on November 11th.

FYI: According to the Military Officers Association of America, 127 Members of the current 110th Congress have served in the military. The House has 99 out of 434 and the Senate 28 out of 100. The number of veterans in the 110th Congress sadly reflects the trend of a steady decline in the number of Members who have served in the military. For example, 390 veterans served in the 93rd Congress (1973-1975); and 236 served in the 103rd (1993-1995).

It's Veterans Day in the USA and we proudly salute the veterans, both men and women, who have served our nation with honor, dignity, pride and sacrifice. We remember and we thank you. Our flag will forever fly and we are forever free, thanks to you and to the blessings and grace of God on our nation. May God bless each veteran whose life we celebrate today. Stand tall, veterans everywhere ... We Salute You!

No comments: