Veterans Day 2004 - Anchored In Him

Veteran's Day, November 11, is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice in the Forest of Campiegne, France, by the Allies and the Germans in 1918, which officially ended World War I. The signing took place in the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, and was said to end "the war to end all wars." (The United States had entered World War I on 6 April 1917, and on 4 October 1918 an appeal was made to President Woodrow Wilson by the German government for an armistice.)

This Armistice, which lasted one month and was renewed until the peace was signed, signified the end of World War I and the German surrender. This day, originally known as Armistice Day, was observed by Presidential Proclamation as a legal holiday in 1919.

In 1938 Congress passed a bill which stated each November 11 would be dedicated to world peace and celebrated as Armistice Day. However, after World War II, the day began to lose meaning. Since there were many other veterans to consider, veteran's groups decided to change November 11 to a day to honor all those who fought in American wars.

The first actual Veteran's Day observance was held in Emporia, Kansas on 11 November 1953. On 24 May 1954, Congress passed an act to change the name to Veteran's Day. This act was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on 1 June 1954. The day was officially set aside to pay tribute to all servicemen who fought in U.S. wars.

Generally the day is marked by ceremonies and speeches, and, at 11:00 in the morning, most Americans observe a moment of silence, remembering those who fought for peace. After the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War, the emphasis on holiday activities has shifted. There are fewer military parades and ceremonies. Veterans gather at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. to place gifts and stand quiet vigil at the names of their friends and relatives who fell in the Vietnam War. Families who have lost sons and daughters in wars turn their thoughts more toward peace and the avoidance of future wars. Veterans of military service have organized support groups such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. On Veterans' Day (and Memorial Day as well), these groups raise funds for their charitable activities by selling paper poppies made by disabled veterans. This bright red wildflower became a symbol of World War I after a bloody battle in a field of poppies called Flanders Field in Belgium.


In 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. This site, on a hillside overlooking the Potomac River and the city of Washington, D.C., became the focal point of reverence for America's veterans.

Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in England and France, where an unknown soldier was buried in each nation's highest place of honor (in England, Westminster Abbey; in France, the Arc de Triomphe). These memorial gestures all took place on November 11, giving universal recognition to the celebrated ending of World War I fighting at 11 a.m., 11 November 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). The day became known as "Armistice Day."

Armistice Day officially received its name in America in 1926 through a Congressional resolution. It became a national holiday 12 years later by similar Congressional action. If the idealistic hope had been realized that World War I was "the War to end all Wars," November 11 might still be called Armistice Day. But only a few years after the holiday was proclaimed, war broke out in Europe. Sixteen and one-half million Americans took part. Four hundred seven thousand of them died in service, more than 292,000 in battle.

TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER (13 K) Realizing that peace was equally preserved by veterans of WW II and Korea, Congress was requested to make this day an occasion to honor those who have served America in all wars. In 1954 President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veteran's Day.

On Memorial Day 1958, two more unidentified American war dead were brought from overseas and interred in the plaza beside the unknown soldier of World War I. One was killed in World War II, the other in the Korean War. In 1973, a law passed providing interment of an unknown American from the Vietnam War, but none was found for several years. In 1984, an unknown serviceman from that conflict was placed alongside the others. To honor these men, symbolic of all Americans who gave their lives in all wars, an Army honor guard, The 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard), keeps day and night vigil.

A law passed in 1968 changed the national commemoration of Veteran's Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent, however, that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans. Therefore, in 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date.

The focal point for official, national ceremonies for Veteran's Day continues to be the memorial amphitheater built around the Tomb of the Unknowns. 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.

The cost of freedom has always been high, just look at Mount Calvary Jesus was crucified there to free us of sin ! ! !

This page is just a small tribute to our veterans. We thank you for
your sacrifices and service to our great nation.  Let's pray for our
returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. This war on terror
and evil will be won. We must support our Armed Forces and their
families. One of the sad facets of war that it robs a nation of its

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