Veterans Day - A Brief History


At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918, fighting between the Allied Forces and Germany stopped, putting an end to the bloodshed of World War I per the terms of an armistice agreement signed in France the same day. But the “War to end all wars” did not officially end until seven months later.

On the one-year anniversary of the armistice agreement (Nov. 11, 1919), President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation commemorating November 11 as Armistice Day. The celebrations were to include parades, public meetings and a two-minute suspension of business at 11 a.m.

On June 24, 1926 Congress passed a resolution urging state governors to observe Armistice Day with “thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through goodwill and mutual understanding between nations. At the time 27 states had already made Nov. 11 a legal holiday. More than a decade later, on May 13, 1938 Congress made Armistice Day an official holiday dedicated to world peace.

World War I was not the war to end all wars, and lawmakers believed that veterans from World War II and the Korean War also deserved their own day of remembrance. So on June 1, 1954 President Eisenhower signed a bill changing the name of Armistice Day to the more inclusive Veterans Day, a holiday to thank all who had served the United States of America. On Oct. 12, 1954 Eisenhower published a proclamation in the Federal Register, instructing citizens to recognize Veterans Day on Nov. 11.

He wrote: “On that day, let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.”

Much has changed in the 99 years since Armistice Day was first observed. But despite its different names and dates, the purpose of Veterans Day has remained the same – to say THANKS.

[From The Washington Post by Katie Metter 11/11/2017]

Please take the time to join Merrick Post No. 1282, American Legion on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. for our Veterans Day Ceremony at the Merrick’s Veteran Memorial Park on Merrick Avenue at Lee Avenue.

If you haven’t paid your 2019 Annual Dues (7/1/18 – 6/30/19) yet, please send your $35 check made payable to Merrick Post No. 1282, American Legion, and mail it to:

Merrick Post No. 1282
American Legion
160 West Merrick Road
Merrick, NY 11566

Notation 2019 Dues. Thank you for your continued support.

Robert Dishman, First Vice Commander

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