"This day, and every day, we pay tribute to America's sons and daughters who have answered our country's call. We recognize the sacrifice of those who have been part of the finest fighting force the world has ever known and the loved ones who stand beside them. We will never forget the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice and all those who have not yet returned home. As a grateful Nation, let us show our appreciation by honoring all our veterans and working to ensure the promise of America is within the reach of all who have protected it." Excerpt from President Barack Obama’s Proclamation on Veterans Day 2014Are you familiar with the history and ceremony around Veterans Day? Veterans Day is a special day that honors all our service men and women, living and dead, who fought in wars. Initially, it honored those who served in the World wars but now includes all Veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
How did it start? On November 11, 1947, Raymond Weeks of Birmingham, Alabama, organized a Veterans Day parade to honor all of America's Veterans for their loyal service. At the time, it was known as Armistice Day. Later, U.S. Representative Edward H. Rees of Kansas proposed legislation to change the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day in honor of all who have served this country. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11th as Veterans Day. In 1968, the date was moved to the fourth Monday in October, but Congress soon recognized the historical importance of November 11th and changed it back in 1978.
What is the Ceremony like? The tradition of having the ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery continues till this day. On the morning of the 11th, at 11AM, a group of guards from each of the military services, pay their respects to those who died at war in an impressive ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The President or his designated representative then places a wreath at the Tomb. A bugler sounds “Taps.” which is quite haunting and then the ceremony moves to the Memorial Amphitheater, adjacent to the Tomb. A "Parade of Flags" by Veterans service organizations is also part of the second half of ceremonies on that day. The Veterans Day National Committee which organizes the ceremony, also supports a number of Veterans Day Regional Sites: There are 67 sites in 39 states and the sites hold a variety of community Veterans Day celebrations to keep the memories of loved ones lost alive. Did your/your community participate in it this year?
"The willingness of America's veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude." Jeff Miller
The American Veteran - Women at War
This is a day of deep gratitude for those who gave their lives so we can live. While some might think it’s ironic to see peace as a goal of war, it is appropriate to encourage all to seek peace on this special day; both inner and outer peace. In remembering those who fought bravely to keep us safe, we must remember what peace means to us and how much we value it. Then we must think about how we can maintain peace in the world. May peace prevail in our hearts… What does this day mean to you? How do you honor Veterans Day? Thank you.
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Veteran’s Day, Veterans-Armistice Day, via Wikipedia. VD Poster, via Dept of Veteran’s Affairs.
Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Mirth and Motivation