Happy Veterans Day to all and a heartfelt thanks to those of you who have served our nation.
Veterans Day, originally called Armistice Day, was proclaimed by President Wilson for November 11, 1919 as a tribute to those who died in WWI.
”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.”
Seven years later on June 4, 1926, Congress passed a resolution making it a legal holiday and organizing ceremonies marking the day as ‘Armistice Day’.”
Flash forward almost 20 years, a WWII veteran named Raymond Weeks (from Birmingham, AL), started a campaign in 1945 to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in WWI. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower lent his support to the idea. It worked and later Congress amended the law (in June 1954) and replaced replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans,” and it has been known as that since.
Weeks died in 1985 but not before receiving the Presidential Citizenship Medal from President Reagan in 1982. In introducing Weeks, Elizabeth Dole proclaimed him “The Father of Veterans Day”.
Enjoy the holiday and remember those who served and Raymond Weeks…
- “The Green Fields of France” – The Furays and Davey Arthur
- “I Can’t Write Left Handed” – John Legend and The Roots (a Bill Withers song)
- “Ballad of the Green Beret” – SSgt Barry Sadler
- “When a Soldier Makes It Home” – Arlo Guthrie
- “Brothers Under the Bridge” – Bruce Springsteen
- “These Colours Don’t Run” – Iron Maiden
- “Song of the Patriot” – Johnny Cash