Monday, November 12, 2007

Day 264 - 11/11/2007

A heartfelt thanks to all those who've served our country and were willing to put their lives on the line to allow the citizens of this country to live the way we do.

Veterans Day was started as a way to honor those who fought in World War I (or, as it was known then, the Great War). It was originally called Armistice Day to commemorate the end of hostilities during World War I (which occurred on November 11, 1918). This was in advance of the Treaty of Versailles that formally ended the war (which wasn't signed until June 28, 1919).

The first Armistice Day was commemorated by President Wilson on the first anniversary of the armistice on November 11, 1919. It was commemorated by two minutes of silence beginning at 11 a.m. (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day, which is when the hostilities were to have ended). It became an official annual federal holiday in 1938.

In 1954 the name was changed to Veterans Day to honor those who fought in World War II and the Korean War as well.

Although federal legislation changed the date of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October in 1968, not all states followed suit. The intent of the change was to ensure a three-day weekend, which would increase travel and boost the economy through various activities, but civic minded groups continued to celebrate the original date and so, in 1978, the date of the federal holiday was reverted back to November 11th.

(If that date falls on a weekend, it's observed by the Federal government by taking either Friday or Monday off.)

Again, thank you to all of you who have served your country in uniform.

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