By the NFRW Armed Services Committee
On November 11, 1918, at 11:00 am, the cessation of World War I hostilities commenced. It was designated as the War to end all Wars. Sadly, there were subsequent wars throughout the 20th century, including World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
To commemorate Armistice Day, celebrations were planned to honor our heroic veterans of the war, including parades, public meetings, and a brief suspension of all business activities beginning at 11:00 a.m. The United States Congress passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:
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.
At the urging of veterans’ service organizations and the approval of Public Law 380 on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans who served in times of war and times of peace. Because November 11 has significant meaning to our citizens and other nations, the move of the holiday to the fourth Monday of October lasted for only a few years (1971–1977). By popular demand the holiday was reinstated to November 11 in memory of its historic date.
In honor of Veterans Day, Federated Republican women's clubs should identify their veteran members and host an event that shows appreciation for their service to the nation. Knowing our national history and the personal sacrifices made to keep our nation the “land of the free and the home of the brave” is important. Members can learn more about the demographics of current and former veterans and the programs in place to serve their needs.
This Veterans Day we honor all branches of the armed forces, and for the first time this includes the newly-established U.S. Space Force. It is interesting to review the changing demographics of the veterans we honor.
Thanks to the patriotism and generosity of each generation, the armed services have been able to meet the call to defend our liberty and way of life each time volunteers were needed. Actively celebrating Veterans Day is one way for our communities to demonstrate sincere appreciation.