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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What Does Veterans Day Mean To You?

Veterans Day for me was always a day of remembrance.
A day to look back on the 'Great War', as WW I was called.
A day of reflection.


Some people say 'happy Veterans Day', but I don't think it was meant to be a happy occasion. I've always treated it in a more somber temperament by simply flying 'Old Glory'.

My granddad served in the Great War, so it always had a special meaning for me. He seldom talked about his experiences, but he always made sure I had a poppy to wear on my shirt as a young lad. Funny thing, I haven't seen a poppy on November 11 in quite a while?

Did you know the holiday was first created to commemorate the armistice? That's right... WW I didn't have a winner or a loser per se, it was an armistice that stopped the fighting. Of course the Germans were blamed for everything and severely punished for the war.

President Wilson proclaimed Armistice Day for November 12, 1919. Then in 1926 Congress passed a resolution asking The President to honor Armistice Day on November 11. Then in May of 1938, November 11th was made an 'official holiday'. "A day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'."

Then, what had been Armistice Day honoring WW I dead was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 by President Dwight Eisenhower to expand the honor to all U.S. veterans.

The Great War was known as 'the war to end all wars'. Sadly, it hasn't been so. It ended with an armistice in 1918 that began at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

But many country's still celebrate it with a moment of silence at 11:00 AM on November 11. In Canada and Australia, it's called Remembrance Day. In Great Britain it's meaning is honored closer to our Memorial Day.

So, if you didn't remember to honor Veterans Day with a moment of silence this year, that's OK. Just try to do it next year. Oh, and it's always been customary to put out the flag, so if you don't have a flag, try to get one.


God Bless America!

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