LEONARDTOWN, Md. — “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…” – President Woodrow Wilson
Friday, November 11th, 2022, will mark this year’s celebration of Veterans’ Day, a tribute to military veterans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
The original concept for the celebration began in 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when an armistice (a temporary cessation of hostilities) was declared between Germany and the Allied Nation during World War I, and memorial gestures were given to an unknown soldier who died in battle.
These took place in the United States, England, and France, and all occurred on November 11.
Dubbed Armistice Day a year later, the day was adopted to honor the soldiers who died during the Great War for their sacrifice and bravery. While Armistice Day was celebrated in the U.S., it didn’t become a legal holiday until 1926 through a Congressional resolution.
It was a similar Congressional action that prompted the legal holiday to become a national holiday 12 years later.
However, the first Veterans Day celebration, as it is currently known, didn’t happen until 1947 in Birmingham, Alabama.
This celebration was organized by one Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran. He widened the scope of festivities to include a parade and to honor all veterans, not just those from World War I, which was on the then-named Armistice Day.
It wasn’t until later, in 1954, that U.S. Representative Edward Rees of Kansas proposed a bill that would change Armistice Day to Veterans’ Day.
President Eisenhower signed the bill into law on May 26, 1954, eight and a half years after the first Veterans Day and at the behest of the veterans’ service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word ‘Armistice’ and inserting the word ‘Veterans.’
By June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to venerate American veterans of all wars.
This Veterans Day, there are several events taking place to pay tribute to veterans, including the 47th Annual Veterans Day Parade & Memorial Wreath Laying Ceremony that takes place in Leonardtown Square, St Mary’s County. It is one of the largest Veterans Day celebrations in Maryland.
Be sure to check it out and honor the brave veterans who have sacrificed and fought for the country.
Contact our news desk at firstname.lastname@example.org