So, celebrate Veterans Day today and tomorrow.
The basic idea is to applaud those veterans who are living in our communities, who are our hometown heroes, and who have earned our gratitude for helping in a very real way to preserve the American way of life.
Because of the Monday Holiday Law, passed by Congress in 1968, the observance of Veterans Day was changed to the fourth Monday in October, with the law taking effect in 1971. The objective of the day is “to focus attention on the important goal of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good”. We can argue with why politicians – most of whom have not served in uniform themselves – send our soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors off to wars.
Veterans Day, for those who recognize it as a holiday with a day off, is celebrated today.
Even with those big numbers, less than a half-percent of the total US population is active military at any one time. Some were rich. Others were poor.
Negrete was drafted when he was just 17 years old.
More than 18.5 million military and civilians, including 117,000 Americans, lost their lives during the bloodshed.
Something else to keep in mind is the sacrifices soldiers make day in and day out, and that far too many of them escape the perils of combat only to bring that overseas war with them when they finally come home. Most got office jobs at military bases in the United States. Everyone else – nurses, podiatrists, physician assistants – went unreported.
November 11 became known as Armistice Day, designated as a holiday in the US, signifying the end of the “War to End All Wars” – the greatest armed conflict the world had known.
For 98 years, Americans have remembered those who served our country in uniform on November 11, first as Armistice Day, and then, since 1954, as Veterans Day.
Then, at 2 p.m., Florence Veteran’s Day Parade organizers invite the community to join them in honoring the service and sacrifice of U.S. Armed Forces members and veterans during the annual Veterans Day Parade.
Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance that “commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises created to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations”, and November 11 became a national holiday in 1938.
But new problems were on the way.
After the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, the leaders and the people of the Allied nations and Germany marked World War I as “The war to end all wars”. And 16 million would serve during the second one.
On Veterans Day, Olive Garden restaurants will offer a free entrée from a special menu to active-duty military and veterans.
Over the past quarter-century, the state has re-dedicated itself to paying back the veterans who served us. And 1.6 million in the Korean War.
Also at 11 a.m. tomorrow, American Legion Post 203 will sponsor a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial at Newport Town Hall.
Jerilyn Watson wrote this story for Learning English.