On June 4th, 1926, the United States Congress issued a concurrent resolution.
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.
World War I was over, beginning with an armistice in 1918 on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
By U.S. Congressional Act in 1938, November 11 became a legal holiday, Armistice Day. Although most Americans spent the day honoring veterans of the first World War, its original intent was to further world peace.
And then we went to war again.
World War II became the largest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines in American history. And the November celebration continued to focus on honoring veterans.
And in 1950, we joined the United Nations in offering assistance to South Korea when North Korea invaded.
Veterans Day Becomes Official
In 1954, Congress amended the Act of 1938, striking out Armistice and replacing it with Veterans. They officially declared November 11th the day to honor American veterans of all wars.
Issuing the first Veterans Day Proclamation, President Dwight D. Eisenhower said,
I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States, do hereby call upon all of our citizens to observe Thursday, November 11, 1954, as Veterans Day. 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.
I don’t know that I could say it better.
Honoring Our Veterans
This year, Veterans Day falls on Saturday. In the midst of our routines, chores, and errands, let us take a moment for the men and women who sacrifice so much.
- May we remember those who fight on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores against enemies who are not always clearly defined or easily distinguished.
- May we honor their contribution to preserving our heritage of freedom.
- May we reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace — within and beyond our borders.
- May we honor them such so that their efforts are not in vain.
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