A Brief History of Veterans Day (borrowed from “Military.com”)

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, Nov. 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 fourth 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 much 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 Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on Nov. 11.

United States Senate Resolution 143, which was passed on Aug. 4, 2001, designated the week of Nov. 11 through Nov. 17, 2001, as "National Veterans Awareness Week." The resolution calls for educational efforts directed at elementary and secondary school students concerning the contributions and sacrifices of veterans.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. 

Today, this Veterans Day 2014, I want to acknowledge, honor and thank all my family and friends who served and are currently serving in the Armed Forces.  My father, George Kamienowski (Air Force) WWII.

My uncle, Stanley Zagajeski, served in the Army during WWII in North Africa and France.  He was shot in battle and taken prisoner of war.  After a telegram was received that he was in a hospital in France, his sister and brother, Henry & Lillian Zagajeski (Army), also stationed in France, travelled across the country to find him and report back to their family at home.

Lillian - Army Nurse                                   Brothers Henry & Stan

My cousins, John Sullivan (Marines)Peter McDonald (Army & National Guard), David Bernier (Marines), my friends, Jose Pincay (USMC), James Michael Graham (Army & National Guard), Jack Glenn (Special Forces-Army), Ken Klingele (Army) and Martin Nichols (Army).  

Today, I also want to remember my godson/nephew, Private Nils George Thompson, who was killed in action by a sniper in Mosul, Iraq, one day after his 19th birthday, 8/4/05.

Please remember to say a prayer for all those who have served and are serving today in the Armed Forces and thank them for their service to our country.

Posted by Joan Coogan on
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