President Woodrow Wilson declared November 12, 1919 to be Armistice Day in celebration of the ending of the First World War. On June 4, 1926 the United States Congress asked the President to observe November 11. On May 13, 1938 November 11 was declared a National Holiday known as Armistice Day. The holiday was a celebration of the veterans that served in the War to End All Wars.
In 1953 Al King, a shoe store owner from Emporia Kansas wanted to expand Armistice Day to include all veterans, not just those from World War I. On May 26, 1954 Dwight Eisnehower signed the bill into law. On November 8 of that year Congress amended the law to change the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
Today is the day we honor those brave men and women that have fought for our country. To many people if you oppose war, especially the current one, it means you are against the men and women in uniform and nothing could be farther from the truth. I have nothing but the highest respect for the men and women in our armed forces. You can hate the war, but love the warriors.
I never served in the military, but my Dad did and today is a day I like to think of the years he spent in uniform. He was in the United States Navy for twenty two years and retired with the rank of Master Chief, an E-9. The military doesn't pay great, I remember years as a kid when my Dad had to have a second job to bring in more money. The job is 24/7, you are on call whenever they need you. Two weeks out of every year he had to spend aboard a Naval Carrier. He was an ordinance man, he was one of those men you see on the carrier that load and unload the missiles and bombs on the jets.
So this Veterans Day I'd like to think of my Dad and realize once again what a special man he was.
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