Veterans Day is November 11th. It is a day set aside to remember and thank veterans for their service to this country. There are many observances planned for our area.
Last Friday there was a very impressive observance at Ringgold Elementary School. Assistant Principal Theresa Davis always puts together a “heart tugging” program. This year was no exception, and some in the audience said it was her best one ever.
Public schools in Red River Parish have Veterans Day observances this week. Red River High School has a program scheduled for Thursday morning at 9:00 am. The next morning, Friday the 10th, Red River Elementary School will have their program as part of the Friday morning assembly. It starts at 8:00 am in the elementary school gym.
Social Springs Baptist Church has a great program planned for Saturday November 11th. The pastor, Bro James Hester has issued an invitation for all to come and enjoy. Their invitation is included in this article.
So we remember, and pass on to our children and grandchildren the importance of this national celebration, The Journal looks back at the history of Veterans Day.
World War I was called “The War to End All Wars” but that was not to be. Fighting stopped with an Armistice signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. Here is more excerpted from Wikipedia:
On November 11, 1919, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson issued a message to his countrymen on the first Armistice Day in which he expressed what he felt the day meant to Americans:
ADDRESS TO FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN
The White House, November 11, 1919.
“A year ago today our enemies laid down their arms in accordance with an armistice which rendered them impotent to renew hostilities, and gave to the world an assured opportunity to reconstruct its shattered order and to work out in peace a new and juster set of inter national relations.
“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 nations.”
The United States Congress adopted a resolution on June 4, 1926, requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue annual proclamations calling for the observance of November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. A Congressional 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’.”
In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Weeks led a delegation to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, who supported the idea of National Veterans Day. Weeks led the first national celebration in 1947 in Alabama and annually until his death in 1985. President Reagan honored Weeks at the White House with the Presidential Citizenship Medal in 1982 as the driving force for the national holiday. Elizabeth Dole, who prepared the briefing for President Reagan, determined Weeks as the “Father of Veterans Day.”
U.S. Representative Ed Rees from Emporia, Kansas, presented a bill establishing the holiday through Congress. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, also from Kansas, signed the bill into law on May 26, 1954. It had been eight and a half years since Weeks held his first Armistice Day celebration for all veterans.
Congress amended the bill on June 1, 1954, replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans,” and it has been known as Veterans Day since.
The Journal hopes you will attend a Veterans Day observance, or take a few moments over the next few days to remember our veterans and be grateful for their sacrifice and service.