Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Veterans Day

Honoring All Who Served

From Rod Powers,
Your Guide to US Military.
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Veterans Day

Many Americans mistakenly believe that Veterans Day is the day America sets aside to honor American military personnel who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained from combat. That's not quite true. Memorial Day is the day set aside to honor America's war dead.

Veterans Day, on the other hand, honors ALL American veterans, both living and dead. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. November 11 of each year is the day that we ensure veterans know that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in the lives to keep our country free.

Armistice Day

To commemorate the ending of the "Great War" (World War I), an "unknown soldier" was buried in highest place of honor in both England and France ( (in England, Westminster Abbey; in France, the Arc de Triomphe).

These ceremonies took place on November 11th, celebrating the ending of World War I hostilities at 11 a.m., November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). This day became known internationally as "Armistice Day".

In 1921, the United States of America followed France and England by laying to rest the remains of a World War I American soldier -- his name "known but to God" -- on a Virginia hillside overlooking the city of Washington DC and the Potomac River. This site became known as the "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier," and today is called the "Tomb of the Unknowns." Located in Arlington National Cemetery, the tomb symbolizes dignity and reverence for the American veteran.

In America, November 11th officially became known as Armistice Day through an act of Congress in 1926. It wasn't until 12 years later, through a similar act that Armistice Day became a national holiday.

The entire World thought that World War I was the "War to end all wars." Had this been true, the holiday might still be called Armistice Day today. That dream was shattered in 1939 when World War II broke out in Europe. More than 400,000 American service members died during that horrific war.

Veterans Day

In 1947, Raymond Weeks, of Birmingham Ala., organized a "Veterans Day" parade on November 11th to honor all of America's veterans for their loyal and dedicated service. Shortly thereafter, Congressman Edward H. Rees (Kansas) introduced legislation to change the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day in order to honor all veterans who have served the United States in all wars.

In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day, and called upon Americans everywhere to rededicate themselves to the cause of peace. He issued a Presidential Order directing the head of the Veterans Administration (now called the Department of Veterans Affairs), to form a Veterans Day National Committee to organize and oversee the national observance of Veterans Day.

Congress passed legislation in 1968 to move Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. However as it became apparent that November 11th was historically significant to many Americans, in 1978, Congress reversed itself and returned the holiday to its traditional date.

Veterans Day National Ceremony

At exactly 11 a.m., each November 11th, a color guard, made up of members from each of the military branches, renders honors to America's war dead during a heart-moving ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.

The President or his representative places a wreath at the Tomb and a bugler sounds Taps. The balance of the ceremony, including a "Parade of Flags" by numerous veterans service organizations, takes place inside the Memorial Amphitheater, adjacent to the Tomb.

In addition to planning and coordinating the National Veterans Day Ceremony, the Veterans Day National Committee supports a number of Veterans Day Regional Sites. These sites conduct Veterans Day celebrations that provide excellent examples for other communities to follow.

Veterans Day Observance

Veterans Day is always observed on November 11, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls. The Veterans Day National Ceremony is always held on Veterans Day itself, even if the holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday. However, like all other federal holidays, when it falls on a non-workday -- Saturday or Sunday -- the federal government employees take the day off on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday).

Federal government holiday observance (for federal employees, including military) is established by federal law. 5 U.S.C. 6103 establishes the following public holidays for Federal employees: New Year's Day, Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington's Birthday (President's Day), Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

This federal law does not apply to state and local governments. They are free to determine local government closings (including school closings) locally. As such, there is no legal requirement that schools close of Veterans Day, and many do not. However, most schools hold Veterans Day activities on Veterans Day and throughout the week of the holiday to honor American veterans.

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Happy Veterans Day!

Thank you ethel,

for your service to our country. Make sure that you let all of your friends and coworkers know that you are a Veteran -- today is your day!

Throughout history in times of both peace and war, yourselves and millions of other heroic U.S. Military personnel have proudly served our nation, from WWI-II through to the Korean War, Vietnam & the Cold War, to the Gulf War and the current War on Terrorism.

VetFriends.com salutes, thanks and supports all of you, our U.S. Veterans, active & reserve military of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines & Coast Guard - All Heroes of our nation. We wish everyone a wonderful Veterans Day full of tradition, honor & respect.

History of Veterans Day

  • 1921 - An unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in England and France, where an unknown soldier was buried in each nation's highest place of honor (in England, Westminster Abbey; in France, the Arc de Triomphe).

  • These memorial services all took place on November 11, the anniversary of the end of World War I at 11:00 a.m., November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month), which became known as Armistice Day.

  • 1926 - Congress invited all Americans to observe Armistice Day, and then officially made it a national holiday in 1938.

  • On June 1, 1954, the name was changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. Veterans.

  • 1968 - New legislation changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. However, it soon became apparent that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans so in 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date.

We'd Love to Hear How You Spent Veterans Day
Please visit the online Veterans Day forum at www.vetfriends.com/veteransday, to share your personal comments and insights of what Veterans Day means to you, along with how you spent the holiday. U.S. Veteran S. Hendrickx writes to the forum:
    "Veterans Day is a time when all of us who have served can wear our colors and be proud of what we were no matter where or when we were in - or what our job was. Each of us were a part of a whole and were important. The best of all is that we are a part of a select group of people...we are U.S. Veterans!"
Like you, these famous people served in our great United States Military
Aaron Burr
Adam West
Al Fiedler, Jr.
Alan Alda
Art Buchwald
Arthur Sulzberger
Barry Corbin
Barry Goldwater
Benjamin O. Davis
Bernard Shaw
Bill Cosby
Bill Muncey
Billy Mills
Bob Dole
Bob Keeshan
Bob Mathias
Bob Watson
Brian Dennehy
Brian Keith
Burgess Meredith
Carmen Basilio
Caspar Weinberger
Charles Lindbergh
Charles Robb
Charles Walgreen
Charlton Heston
Christopher Dodd
Chuck Hagel
Chuck Norris
Clark Gable
Clint Eastwood
Coach Tom Landry
Coleman Young
Colin Powell
Conrad Burns
Cornelius Vanderbilt
Craig Thomas
Dale Bumpers
Dan Lauria
Daniel Akaka
Daniel Boone
Daniel Inouye
Dave Grossman
Dave Thomas
Davey Crockett
David Dinkins
David Robinson
Doc Hastings
Don Adams
Don Nickles
Donald Petersen
Donald Regan
Dr. Seuss
Drew Carey
Earl Warren
Earnest Hemingway
Earnest Hollings
Ed McMahon
Eddie Le Baron
Edward Kennedy
Elvis Presley
Ernest Hemingway
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Frank Capra
Frank Know
Frank Lautenberg
Fred Smith
Fred W. Smith
G. Gordon Liddy
Gene Autry
Gene Hackman
George C. Scott
George C. Wallace
George Grune
George Gund III
George Jones
George Peppard
George Shultz
George Steinbrenner
George Westinghouse
Gerald Coleman
Gil Hodges
Glenn Ford
Gregory Alan-Williams
Harry Truman
Harvey Keitel
Hayden Fry
Henry Cabot Lodge
Herb Kohl
Howard Cosell
Hugh Hefner
Hugh O'Brian
J. Richard Munro
Jack Reed
Jack Valenti
Jackie Robinson
James Baker III
James Brady
James Carville
James Earl Jones
James Garfield
James Inhofe
James Reynolds
James Roosevelt
Jay Johnstone
Jeff Bingaman
Jeff Sessions
Jesse Brown
Jim Lehrer
Jim Mora
Jim Rogers
Jo Jo White
Jocelyn Elders
John Anderson
John Birch
John Chaffee
John F. Dulles
John F. Kennedy
John Glenn
John Huston
John Murtha
John Phelan
John Warner
Johnny Carson
Jonothan Winters
Joseph Cleland
Joseph Wambaugh
Judge Wapner
Ken Norton
Kris Kristofferson
Larry Craig
Lawrence Rawl
Lee Marvin
Lee Trevino
Leon Jaworski
Lewis Preston
Lou Anne Johnson
Louis Bantle
Louis L' Amour
MacDonald Carey
Malcolm Forbes
Mark Shields
Michael Enzi
Mickey Spillane
Mike Anderson
Mike Farrell
Mike Illitch
Montel Williams
Morris Udall
Oliver Wendall Holmes
Pat Roberts
Pat Sajak
Patty Berg
Paul Coverdell
Paul Douglas
Pernell Roberts
Pete Wilson
Peter Benchley
R. Buckminster Fuller
Rene Anselmo
Richard Bryan
Richard Daley
Roaddogg Jesse James
Robert Bennett
Robert Bork
Robert E. Lee
Robert Ludlum
Robert Lutz
Roberto Clemente
Rocky Marciano
Rod Carew
Ron Carey
Ron Dellums
Shaquille O'Neil's father
Shelby Foote
Slade Gorton
Stephen Peters
Steve McQueen
Steven Symms
Ted Stevens
Ted Williams
Theodore Black
Thomas Sowell
Tim Johnson
Tom Monoghan
Tom Seaver
Tony Bennett
Vine Deloria
Walter Anderson
Will Rogers
William Buckley
William Holden
William Manchester
William Roth
Zackary Taylor
Check out all of the great photos of Veterans at www.vetfriends.com/MilitaryPics/

Sincerely, The Veterans at VetFriends.com
Connecting Veterans, Reuniting Thousands...



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