Thank you Veterans

By: 
Chuck Kajer, The New Prague Times

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans—living or dead—but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, but in 1975 President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11, due to the important historical significance of the date.

The military men and women who serve and protect the U.S. come from all walks of life; they are parents, children, grandparents, friends, neighbors and coworkers, and are an important part of their communities. It is estimated that there are 16.1 million living veterans who served during at least one war, and 5.2 million veterans who served in peacetime.

We owe a debt of gratitude to each of these men and women who put aside their personal ambitions in favor of serving their nation. It is because of these people that Americans enjoy the rights and privileges afforded them by the Constitution.

It’s something we should be saying every day. But on Veterans Day especially, we say, “Thank You!”

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