Honoring America’s Veterans
“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 the nations…”
– President Wilson declared Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day in November 1919
The concept of Armistice Day, now celebrated as Veterans Day each Nov. 11, began at the end of World War I, the “war to end all wars.” The Great War ended officially on June 28, 1919, when the Treaty of Versailles was signed in France. Previously, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany, went into effect on the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The United States recognized the war’s end officially when it passed a concurrent resolution June 4, 1926:
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and
Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.
The concept was to observe the day with parades, public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11 a.m. to honor veterans of WWI. An Act approved May 13, 1938 made Nov. 11 a legal holiday, to be dedicated to the cause of world peace. After our nation mobilized the largest military forces in our history for WWII, and fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd congress amended the Act of 1938, replacing the word “Armistice” with “Veterans.” On June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor all American veterans.
The Uniform Holiday Bill was signed June 28, 1968, which intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees, however the 1971 Oct. 25 Veterans Day served as much confusion as it did honor. The historic and patriotic significance was restored by President Gerald Ford, Sept. 20, 1975 with Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the observance to Nov. 11 in 1978.
Please join the Truckee’s Veterans Day Ceremony at “the Eagle” in downtown Truckee to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, willingness to serve and sacrifice to the common good. The ceremony is open to the public, students are encouraged to attend. The Civil Air Patrol Tahoe Truckee Composite Squadron will be present in Battle Dress uniform. Please arrive around 10:30 a.m., the ceremony will commence at 11 a.m.
Banking institutions, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, post offices, Nevada and placer County libraries and government offices will be closed to honor Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
-Information from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs