This week my nine year old was assigned the task of writing a research paper on Veterans Day. Other than knowing both of his grandpas are “Veterans” he didn’t really know much about the topic, so I decided to jump in and help. I’ve always been curious about the day, wondering why we celebrate this particular day, how it became a Holiday, and why it all got started? Together we stumbled upon some great information.
Here’s what we agreed everyone needs to know:
Difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day: Veterans Day is a federal holiday that is celebrated on Nov. 11 each year. It’s often confused with Memorial Day, which is set aside to honor those who died serving their country. Veterans Day is for ALL of those who have served in the armed forces.
Armistice Day: The origins of the holiday date back to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, who proclaimed Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919 to mark the end of World War I. The armistice between Germany and the Allied nations that ended WWI was signed on that day and a ceasefire went into effect on the 11th hour of Nov. 11, 1918. An interesting note on that day, the war didn’t have its official end until seven months later, when, on June 28, 1919, the parties signed the Treaty of Versailles in the Palace of Versailles in France.
How it was first marked: The initial celebration included a short work stopping at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11.
Early description of the holiday: Wilson’s proclamation noted: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
Congress joins in: On June 4, 1926, Congress passed its own resolution asking President Calvin Coolidge to issue another proclamation to observe Nov. 11 as a holiday designed to celebrate world peace and the end of WWI.
Alabama’s role: In 1945, Birmingham veteran Raymond Weeks, a veteran of World War II, led a delegation to then Army Chief of Staff Gen. Dwight Eisenhower to convince him to turn Armistice Day into a time to honor all those who served in the armed forces. Weeks led the first national celebration in Alabama in 1947, something he continued to do until his death in 1985.
Name change: Eisenhower, by then president, signed a bill into law in 1954 and Congress voted to change the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
Day change: Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October in 1971 but was changed back to its original Nov. 11 date in 1978. If the day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then it’s observed on Monday or Friday, respectively.
How it’s celebrated now: Veterans Day is now observed on Nov. 11, regardless of which day of the week on which day it falls. Federal and most state offices are closed on the day, as are most schools. Check with local government offices to see what services are closed (postal, banks, parking meters etc.) a quick Google search will reveal several local and national businesses offering freebies and discounts to Veterans on Tuesday. Get out and take advantage of what you can! For 2017 Americans will celebrate Veterans Day on Saturday November 11, honoring those who’ve served their country.
Real Property Management would like to thank all who have served.
Matt is an Ohio licensed Realtor with 20+ years experience analyzing real estate investments, tenant/management negations, property management, and providing pre-purchase consultations for investors. Matt is currently working as Sales Manger at Real Property Management. You can contact him directly here or on twitter @CincySalesGuy
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