This week, we get to take a little break from all the crappy parts of 2020 and spend ONE DAY, Veterans Day, to thank our veterans — the Americans who keep America great. Hard to believe, but it’s already mid-November.

So here are eleven things you probably don’t know about November 11th, Veterans Day.

1. This day is important because, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, World War I fighting officially ended with the signing of the Armistice Agreement between the Allies of World War I and the German Empire at Compiègne, France.

2. Nine million soldiers were killed and 21 million wounded during World War I. Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each lost nearly a million or more lives. In addition, the Great War claimed the lives of five million civilians from disease, starvation, or exposure.

3. The significance of “the eleventh hour” actually comes from a passage in the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard in the King James Bible meaning “at the last moment.”

4. In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th as “Armistice Day,” to commemorate the signing of the Armistice Agreement but it did not become a national holiday until 1938.

5. Armistice Day was named originally to honor the final moment of “the war to end all wars.” Sadly, it was not. At the end of hostilities in Korea, with the signing of an armistice agreement in 1953, the word “armistice” lost its luster as there was no decisive victory in the war.

6. Armistice Day was officially renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all American veterans no matter where or when they served.

7. Some Americans get Veterans Day and Memorial Day confused. Memorial Day commemorates all those who died in service to the nation, particularly in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. Veterans Day thanks all who have served.

8. In 1968 a law was passed to change the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. But everyone realized that wasn’t such a great idea after all, because the date of November 11 had historic significance to many Americans. In 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date.

9. The first celebration using the term Veterans Day took place in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1947. It was organized by a World War II veteran named Raymond Weeks, and included a parade and other festivities honoring all veterans. Raymond Weeks received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Reagan in November 1982.

President Ronald Reagan presents the Presidential Citizens medal to Raymond Weeks of Birmingham, Ala., Nov. 11, 1983, during a ceremony at the White House in Washington. The award was for the founding of America’s National Veterans Day that is held on Nov. 11, of which Weeks is credited for. (AP Photo/Barry Thumma)

10. While Veterans Day is not a memorial per se, the focal point for official, national ceremonies is generally at memorial amphitheater built around the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. At 11 a.m. on November 11, a combined color guard representing all military services executes “Present Arms” at the tomb. The nation’s tribute to its war dead is symbolized by the laying of a presidential wreath. The bugler plays “taps.” The rest of the ceremony takes place in the amphitheater.

11. Millions of people in the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Belgium, Australia and New Zealand don fabric red poppies every November 11 (still known as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day) to commemorate the anniversary of the 1918 armistice). The red poppy symbol was inspired by a poem written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian who served as a brigade surgeon for an Allied artillery unit. His poem, “In Flanders Field,” channeled the voice of fallen soldiers buried under hardy red poppies which had sprouted on a battlefield.

In the US, we wear poppies on Memorial Day.

But now in the midst of so much weirdness in our nation during 2020, let’s take a pause for some timeless beautiful words. Share this with your family. And be sure to thank a veteran.

“In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

One Response

  1. coronavirusonlayn.ru

    Veterans Day is a well-known American holiday, but there are also a few misconceptions about it like how it s spelled or whom exactly it celebrates. To clear some of that up, here are the important facts you should know. A lot of people think it s Veteran s Day or Veterans Day, but they re wrong. The holiday is not a day that belongs to one veteran or multiple veterans, which is what an apostrophe implies. It s a day for honoring all veterans so no apostrophe needed.

    Reply

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