[NFBOH-Cleveland] Celebrate our Veterans Today!

Cheryl Fields cherylelaine1957 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 11 15:03:05 UTC 2017

The NFB Cleveland Salutes and Celebrates our Veterans Today!

Bryant Ealy and Ronnie Leeth

Thank You for your service!

History of Veterans Day
World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended
when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the
Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However,
fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary
cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went
into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh
month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as
the end of “the war to end all wars.”
Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France.
Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in
France, wait for the end of hostilities.  This photo was taken at
10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice
ending World War I went into effect
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first
commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "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
The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with
parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business
beginning at 11:00 a.m.
The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War
I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most
destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the
resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations
with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date
should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises
designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual
understanding between nations; and
Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already
declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved
by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the
President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation
calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on
all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the
United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other
suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations
with all other peoples.
An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938,
made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be
dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated
and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set
aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War
II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors,
Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had
fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the
veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking
out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word
"Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on
June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of
all wars.
Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower
issued the first "Veterans Day Proclamation" which stated: "In order
to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all
veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will
wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am
designating the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs as Chairman of a
Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other
persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the
national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also
requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive
branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way
President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to
Veterans Day. From left: Alvin J. King, Wayne Richards, Arthur J.
Connell, John T. Nation, Edward Rees, Richard L. Trombla, Howard W.
On that same day, President Eisenhower sent a letter to the Honorable
Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans' Affairs (VA), designating
him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.
In 1958, the White House advised VA's General Counsel that the 1954
designation of the VA Administrator as Chairman of the Veterans Day
National Committee applied to all subsequent VA Administrators. Since
March 1989 when VA was elevated to a cabinet level department, the
Secretary of Veterans Affairs has served as the committee's chairman.
The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed
on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for
Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays:
Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day.
It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel,
recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial
and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this
decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original
The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much
confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the
commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic
significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September
20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat.
479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its
original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported
the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all
major veterans service organizations and the American people.
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.

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