by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun
Armistice of Nov. 11, 1918.
It wasnt until 1938 that Congress passed a bill making Nov. 11 Armistice Day.
But then came World War II and it produced its veterans, who were not recognized by WWI’s Armistice Day. Congress and many people thought we needed a day that would honor the veterans of both world wars.
And on May 24, 1954, by an act of Congress, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day.
Actually we have still another veterans day. It was first observed on May 30, 1868, when Union Gen. John A. Logan prescribed placing flowers on the graves of Civil War soldiers.
This day honoring Civil War soldiers was called Decoration Day.
But the Southern States didn’t like the idea of celebrating their Confederate veterans on the same day the rest of the nation celebrated its Union veterans.
Gradually, most Southern States joined in Decoration Day. (Although some still celebrate a Confederate Veterans Day, but they havent agreed on the date, and celebrate it on different days.)
Decoration Day: In 1967 it became Memorial Day by federal law. The date was still May 30. But a year later Congress passed a bill shifting a number of holidays, including Memorial Day, to a Monday to create a number of three-day weekends.
But what about the veterans of our War for Independence?
Well, theres a Patriots Day, established in memory of the first battles of the Revolutionary War Lexington and Concord fought in 1775.
But Patriots Day is only celebrated in Massachusetts and Maine.
Even so, holidays celebrating our veterans go all the way back. Back to the days when we were a brand-new nation. Back to the war that could have been the death of the nation.
And on this Veterans Day the nation has a new group of veterans, veterans who have died, veterans who have been wounded, veterans who are, every day, risking their lives.