By: Kane – Nov. 2021
Kane has been busy this month pulling out the history books and doing research on the origins of Veterans Day. He was surprised by the number of twists and turns the holiday has taken since it’s recognition in 1926 under the name, Armistice Day. In fact, the conception of what we know as Veterans Day, had its origin much earlier.
According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, an unknown American soldier was buried in Washington, DC at Arlington National Cemetery in 1921. The ceremony took place on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month. This sounded very familiar to Kane! In 1926, November 11th was named Armistice Day. It was reported that it was named to indicate “The End of All Wars” at the End of World War I.
Kane learned the actual name Veterans Day was first utilized in 1947 in Birmingham, Alabama, organized by World War II veteran, Raymond Weeks. He petitioned Congress for 8 years to change Armistice Day to Veterans Day. Kane thought, “wow 8 years is a long time.” Kane admired Raymond Week’s determination.
The name Armistice Day was an optimistic, or maybe idealistic, name used to represent world peace at the end of World War II. In an article written in 2018 by Thomas V. DiBacco in the Orlando Sentinel titled, “An American Hero you never heard about,” it was described that Raymond Weeks believed that all veterans should be recognized for their service. Memorial Day was for veterans that perished in the wars, Veterans Day would recognize living veterans and veterans from the past.
Raymond Weeks was recognized for his unwavering service to the United States as the “Father of Veterans Day” by President Ronald Regan in 1982 when he received the Presidential Citizens Medal. President Eisenhower signed a bill in 1954 that officially changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
Yet another twist in the road changed Veterans Day from November 11th to the 4th Monday of October by Congress in 1954. This change was met with considerable resistance due to the historical significance of the November 11th date, so in 1978, the November 11th Observation of Veterans Day was reinstated by Congress.
A few of Kane’s veteran friends asked him to include in his article that there is a difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Indeed, they are very different holidays. In an article in military.com written in 2021, Memorial Day is described as honoring Americans who perished during the war while Veterans Day
honors all veterans serving during wartime or peacetime. Although Veterans Day does include deceased veterans, there is much emphasis on living veterans.
So, what can we do to recognize our veterans on Veterans Day and really every day?
Kane wanted to share a few of his ideas:
Well for starters, how about flying a flag in respect for our country and sacrifices of those whom have served and continue to serve.
Why not attend a veteran’s event and let the veterans know you appreciate their service to our country.
Kane suggests opening your ears; our veterans have a lot of firsthand information on the state of other nations and many would appreciate a listening ear in regard to their experiences while serving. Other veterans may not wish to share their experiences, but letting them know they are appreciated for their service may be received well.
Reaching out to the Veterans that you know on Veterans Day to recognize their service, also a good day to lend a listening ear.
Find a veteran’s organization whose mission sparks your interest and donate or volunteer your time.
For deployed military members, why not sent a letter, a care package, or communication in general about what is going on at home.
If a military member is deployed, checking in on their significant others, children, and parents to see if there are any specific needs that you could help with. It may be an easy as a night of babysitting, providing a ride, or fixing something in the house. Deployed individuals often worry about their family, so knowing others are watching out for their needs is always helpful. Kane also thinks that dog kisses can go a long way.
Educate yourself on the key issues associated with the defense of our country. Returning from a deployment can be very lonely in a room full of people, but connecting to people who have educated themselves on current events pertaining to defense will allow a common bond.
Lastly, Kane would like to personally thank and salute all who have served! He sees you, and appreciates you!
Kane says Woof