November 11th 2012 12:00 am
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On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as "the Great War." It was commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year. November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars.
Though the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, November 11 remained in the public imagination as the date that marked the end of the Great War. In November 1918, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. The day's observation included parades and public gatherings, as well as a brief pause in business activities at 11 a.m. On November 11, 1921, an unidentified American soldier killed in the war was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Congress had declared the day a legal federal holiday in honor of all those who participated in the war. On June 4, 1926, Congress passed a resolution that the "recurring anniversary of November 11, 1918 should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations" and that the president should issue an annual proclamation calling for the observance of Armistice Day. By that time, 27 state legislatures had made November 11 a legal holiday in their states. An act approved May 13, 1938 made November 11 a legal Federal holiday. In 1954, after lobbying efforts by veterans’ service organizations, the 83rd U.S. Congress amended the 1938 act that had made Armistice Day a holiday, striking the word "Armistice" in favor of "Veterans." President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the legislation on June 1, 1954. From then on, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. Going forward, an official wreath-laying ceremony is held each Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery with the President in attendance, while parades and other celebrations are held in states around the country. Many do not realize that the Federal Government can only designate holidays for federal employees and for the District of Columbia. Even though the states usually follow suit, they retain the right to designate their own holidays and days of observances.
Here in our country today, November 11, 2012 at 11:00 am our local times, we stop in silence to honor and remember those who gave their lives to protect all our U.S. Constitution stands for and the symbol of that promise - the God given rights of each individual and the flag of the United States of America.
I want to close this day with a poem written by the famous music artist Johnny Cash:
This Ragged Flag
I walked through a county courthouse square
On a park bench an old man was sitting there.
I said "Your old courthouse is kinda run down."
He said "Naw, it'll do for our little town."
I said "Your flagpole has leaned a little bit,
And that's a Ragged Old Flag you got hanging on it.
He said, "Have a seat", and I sat down.
"Is this the first time you've been to our little town?"
I said, "I think it is." He said, "I don't like to brag,
But we're kinda proud of that Ragged Old Flag.
You see, we got a little hole in that flag their
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
And it got powder-burned the night Francis Scott Key
Sat watching it writing 'Oh Say Can You See'.
And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
With Packingham and Jackson tuggin' at its seams.
And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on through.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on that Ragged Old Flag.
On Flanders Field in World War I
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun.
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp and low by the time it was through.
She was in Korea and Vietnam.
She went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam.
She waved from our ships upon the briny foam,
And now they've about quit waving her back here at home.
In her own good land she's been abused ...
She's been burned, dishonored, denied and refused.
And the government for which she stands
Is scandalized throughout the land.
And she's getting thread-bare and wearing thin,
But she's in good shape for the shape she's in.
'Cause she's been through the fire before
And I believe she can take a whole lot more.
So we raise her up every morning,
Take her down every night.
We don't let her touch the ground
And we fold her up right.
On second thought I DO like to brag,
'Cause I'm mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag.
- Written by Johnny Cash -
Daddy is a navy vet, and says thank you for your entry
Pass on our thanks to your Daddy for his service and dedication. Today it is surprising that we have so many willing to give their lives so we can remain free individuals.
The Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. is guarded 24/7 always. When the guards heard Hurricane Sandy was on her way, and knowing they could be hurt or loose their lives, they refused to leave and unwaveringly remained on guard.
Thank you for sharing this with us in your diary. I found it to be both informative and inspiratonal.
Forty years ago, on this date, our Dad was just finishing his technical training in the U.S. Air Force. He was all of 17 years old, and within a couple of months he would be mobilized to Southeast Asia in support of the Vietnam war. He came back home alive and unhurt. Many - far too many - did not fare so well back then, and many still do not today.
Please keep all veterans and current military service members on your minds and in your prayers... today and every day.
Thank you fur sharing the wonderful hishtory behind Veterans Day Mystery! I learned shome new thingsh. I lovesh that shong by Johnny Cash and thanksh you fur purinting it sho I could readsh it.
My great grandpaw, grandpaw, unclesh, coushins have almosht all sherved in efury war that hash been fought and thoshe shtill here thanksh you fur rembering and honoring them. Many of the women of our family sherved in the war efforts and shome wash Rosie the Riveters. They too thanksh you.
We thanksh all who fought, sherved, sacarficed and gave their all fur ush and praysh fur them all efury day.
Purrs and Hugs,
Remember alla them Military Workin Dogs too! They sure have done a lot fer us!
I love that thing that Johnny Cash wrote... thanks fer sharin it!
What a wonderful diary entry! My wife and I both like country music, and The Man in Black is one of our favorites, but I had never heard this one before. I admit to having a tear in my eye and choking up a bit as I read it. All paws up from our house to yours!
Remembering All ....
Thank you all for your nice comments.
Thank You Ringo for including all the military dogs, some of which have also given their lives. I feel embarrassed I forgot about them.
this is such a moving Diary entry and song ... it made our typist cry xoxoxox