Veterans Day honors those who served
Our Nation observes Veterans Day on Wednesday, November 11, a day set aside to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military, in wartime or peacetime.
At the close of World War I, on November 11, 1918, an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany began in the 11th hour of the 11th day in the 11th month.
In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 the first commemoration of Armistice Day, celebrated with parades, public meetings, and a brief suspension of business at 11 am.
An act approved by Congress in May 1938 made November 11 a legal holiday to be celebrated and known as "Armistice Day," primarily to honor veterans of World War I.
However, with the return of so many veterans after World War II and America's subsequent conflict in Korea, in May 1954, Congress amended the Act of 1938 by replacing the word "Armistice" with "Veterans." In October, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed the first Veterans Day holiday.
The Uniform Holiday Bill signed into law in 1968 included Veterans Day as one of four holidays to be celebrated on Mondays. However, the first Veterans Day, celebrated on Oct. 25, 1971, caused so much confusion and controversy that in 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a public law returning the annual observation of Veterans Day to November 11.
Veterans Day is properly spelled without an apostrophe because it is not a day that belongs to veterans but rather a day to honor them.
Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country. While Veterans Day also honors those who died, it is a day set aside to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military, in wartime or peacetime.
Since Veterans Day last year, funerals with military honors were held for the following Island veterans:
Anthony R. Duart
Gary S. Mosher
Robert B. Nicholas
John W. Swan
List courtesy of Veterans Services Officer Jo Ann Murphy.
Remembering those in uniform this holiday season
As part of the holiday season, The Martha's Vineyard Times invites our readers to provide an update on Islanders serving in our country's military for publication in the December 24 issue.
Please email information about military personnel including name, rank, and branch of service, along with a brief note about where they are and what they are doing, to Janet Hefler by December 11. Photos also would be appreciated.