Veteran’s Day is a solemn commemoration in any year, but in 2018 the event carries additional significance. This year marks 100 years since the armistice to end the war to end all wars.
Americans possessing a basic sense of history know how that armistice signalling the end of World War 1, marked at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month of November, signified a major turning point in geopolitical relationships. Though the Treaty of Versailles, officially ending hostilities between the Allied forces of Great Britain, France, the United States, and the Axis power of Germany came many months later, fighting ceased with the armistice of November 11. Soon after that, initially recognized as Armistice Day to signify the peace, the commemoration became Veterans Day in June 1926.
Since that date, we celebrate not only the end of the first world war, but the service of all of our military veterans, remembering those who sacrificed with their lives, as well as the many who returned, including veterans of World War 2, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, and more.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, an act of Congress in May 1938 officially established November 11 as a national holiday to honor veterans of World War 1. The act further dedicated the day to the cause of world peace. In 1954 Congress amended the act, striking “Armistice,” and inserting “Veterans,” to include all military members from all conflicts.
In October of that same year, President Eisenhower signed the Veterans Day Proclamation, designating a national committee to coordinate appropriate activities to acknowledge the date.
It wasn’t until 1968, however, that new federal regulations established observances, including Veteran’s Day, take place on Mondays, providing a three day weekend for federal employees, hoping the extended holidays might encourage travel , as well as expanded cultural opportunities. Early on, some states chose to keep celebrations on the original dates instead.
In 1975, President Ford returned the designation and celebration of Veteran’s Day to November 11, regardless of what day of the week this occurs, where the designation still stands.
With this year’s anniversary falling on a Sunday, several area events will take place beforehand, such as the Veterans Pinning Ceremony at Independence Village in Petoskey scheduled for 1:30 on Friday, November 9.
Other area events include a dinner at the East Jordan American Legion Post on Saturday, November 10, and a Veterans brunch in the Iron Horse Cafe at North Central Michigan College on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Check with the specific venue or host for more details.
Veterans Day is annually a solemn occasion, commemorating the service and sacrifice of those who serve. This year’s centennial event is particularly noteworthy, as we mark 100 years of the observance.