Friday, November 10, 2006
Veterans Day - November 11
Veterans Day, as we know it, was originally known as Armistice Day. World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. However, the actual fighting between the Allied Forces and Germany had ended with the armistice which went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.
Armistice Day became an American holiday in 1926 and a national holiday 12 years later. The name was changed to Veterans Day on June 1, 1954 in honor of all U.S. Veterans.
Official national ceremonies for Veterans Day center around the Tomb of the Unknowns.
To honor these men, symbolic of all Americans who gave their lives in all wars, an Army honor guard, the 3d U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard), keeps day and night vigil.
At 11 a.m. on November 11, a combined color guard representing all military services executes "Present Arms" at the tomb of the Unknowns. The nation's tribute to its war dead is symbolized by the laying of a presidential wreath and the playing of "Taps."
Until 1936 WWI was known as the "Great War" and "The War To End All Wars."
As a side note, as of November 9, 2006, there were 52 World War I veterans still living, world-wide. Fourteen of these veterans live in the United States. The oldest American, lives in Puerto Rico and is also the oldest living individual at age 115. Among the 14 is a Canadian living in Spokane, Washington. The youngest American WWI vet is 105 years old. Soon, there will be no one to speak for these aging veterans. The loss will be ours...
I would like to personally acknowledge the sacrifices made by all veterans of the United States Armed Forces and thank them for their service to their country. And, although 'Veterans Day' is not specifically a day to acknowledge those currently serving in the military, they are not yet veterans in the truest sense of the word, I would like to pay tribute to all military personnel currently serving their country. Those in the war zones and those scattered all across the world. Every one plays a part, everyone makes a contribution and they all deserve our support and our thanks.
I Salute You All!
Staff Sergeant Everette Carr
5004th Air Intelligence Service Squadron
Alaskan Air Command
United States Air Force
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