Veterans Day is one of many patriotic holidays recognized in the United States of America. President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11, 1919 as Armistice Day, commemorating the temporary cessation of hostilities that occurred one year prior. That armistice is often recognized as ending “the war to end all wars,” though World War I wasn’t officially recognized by The United States Congress as ending until June 4, 1926. In 1938, Armistice Day was approved as a national holiday.
Honoring All Veterans:
In 1954 and post-World War II, Armistice Day became known as Veterans Day when President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the name, proclaiming that veterans of all wars should be recognized on that day. For a while during the early 1970s, Veterans Day was not always recognized on November 11, but was celebrated during a three-day weekend much like those of Columbus Day and Memorial Day. However, this created high levels of confusion for many, so in 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a public law returning Veterans Day back to its originally intended date of observance on November 11.
Celebrating Veterans Day:
Celebrations held on the holiday vary, ranging from parades to town congress gatherings. It’s a sign of respect to fly the American flag, and, depending on your the state of residency, federal workers may be given the day off from work. Moments of silence are sometimes observed at specific events to honor those whose lives were lost in battle. It’s a time to observe and to remember those that have fought, those that are fighting and those that are planning to fight for our country. They have put and are still putting their lives on the line both physically and mentally to keep our nation free.
How you can help:
You can begin showing veterans our gratitude for all they’ve done by taking part in celebrations, not only on Veterans Day, but also on any and every day of the year. One way to do this is to donate your time to help organizations like the Vietnam Veterans of America in the aid of those who have served. Another is to donate any used goods that you no longer find useful to a local charity organization in your area. Many organizations accept donations of clothes, household items, furniture and vehicles. The list goes on and on, and so will your feeling of satisfaction in knowing you’ve helped those that have done so much to keep The United States of America a free country!
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