A Brief History of Veterans Day (borrowed from “Military.com”) 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, on Veterans Day, I want to acknowledge, honor and thank all who have served and are currently serving in the Armed Forces.   

My father, George Kamienowski (Army Air Corps) served in the Pacific during WWII.

My uncle, Stanley Zagajeski, served in the Army during WWII in North Africa and in France.

He was wounded in battle and taken prisoner of war.  After a telegram was received that he was in a hospital in France, my uncle and aunt, Henry Zagajeski and Lillian Zagajeski Yambor (Army), also stationed in France, traveled across the country to find him and report to their family back home.

My uncle Thomas (Rocky) Urgo (Marines) served two tours in the Pacific during WWII, my uncle Steve Yambor (Army), my cousins, John Sullivan (Marines), Peter McDonald (Army & National Guard), David Bernier (Marines), my friends, Michael James Graham (Army & National Guard), Jack Glenn (Army-Special Forces), Ken Klingele (Army), Martin Nichols (Army), Philip Wondolowski (Navy), Andrew Wondolowski (Navy), and currently serving, Jose Pincay (Marines), Daniel Brennan (Navy) and  Ben Bell (Army).

I 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 say a prayer for all those who have served and are serving today in the Armed Forces.  Thank the Veterans for their service to our country, shake their hands and attend a Parade.  This year in New York City, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Veterans Day Parade will look different. A procession of 120 vehicles will roll along the traditional Fifth Avenue parade route, featuring representatives from regular Parade participants. A Virtual Line of March will recreate the Parade experience online. Veteran Motorcycle Groups and riders will participate in a special Motorcycle Ride, part of which takes place on the traditional Fifth Avenue Parade route. Watch the 2020 New York City Veterans Day Salute LIVE on WABC from 12:30-2, follow on Facebook or stream it online.

This year’s commemoration will mark a number of anniversaries, including the 75th of the end of the WWII, the 70th of the beginning of the Korean War and the 30th of both the end of the Panama Invasion and the beginning of Desert Shield. The featured military branch will be the United States Navy. As always, the Army, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard will also be represented.  

This "Veterans Day USA" parade is the oldest and largest parade of its kind in the United States.

Posted by Joan Coogan on


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