Saturday is Veterans Day.
Unlike Memorial Day, which remembers those who died in the service of this country, Veterans Day is set aside to honor any person who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Veterans Day initially marked the end of World War I, which formally ended on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
The tradition began when President Woodrow Wilson marked the first anniversary of the end of World War I on Nov. 11, 1919. The day, known as Armistice Day, was to be celebrated on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month annually.
In 1938, Congress approved an act to make Armistice Day a legal national holiday. A push to make it a holiday recognizing all veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces began in 1945 by World War II veteran Raymond Weeks of Alabama with the support of then-Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
As president, Eisenhower signed a congressional act making Armistice Day Veterans Day on May 26, 1954.
Many men and women have made the decision and committed to joining a branch of the service and defending the freedoms we all enjoy.
To many, Veterans Day has become just another federal holiday when local, state and federal workers and even some students get the day off.
Locally, students from many schools will attend Veterans Day events at memorial ceremonies, including one at the Jackson County Courthouse in Brownstown and another at Seymour’s war memorial at Gaiser Park.
There are plenty of Veterans Day services planned at local schools and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts in Crothersville and Seymour.
Those services give each of us a chance to attend and tell a veteran “thank you” for all of the sacrifices they made once they joined the U.S. Armed Forces. It’s the least we can do.
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