Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015, is Veterans Day, a federal holiday in the United States. National, state, and local government offices will be closed in commemoration. Most businesses will be open.

Do you pause for a moment of silence at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month? I remember, decades ago, in grade school, we all did so in observance of Armistice Day, even though the name of the commemoration had been official changed to Veterans Day way back in 1954.

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The Torch: be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

—John McCrae (1872-1918)

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. In 1926 Congress officially encouraged the observance of the day throughout the nation, but in was not until 1938 that Armistice Day became a legal federal holiday.

In 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars and President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation. Subsequent Presidents have continued the practice of issuing such proclamations.

By the way, Veterans Day is always on November 11th, which this year is a Tuesday. In 1968 the Uniform Holiday Bill removed several federal holidays from their traditional dates, placing them on Mondays in order to create three-day weekends. But many were not pleased with this tinkering with Veterans Day and in 1975 President Gerald R. Ford signed the law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.

For more information on the celebration of Veterans Day, see

God Bless the United States of America!

Textile industry trivia. Many of the flocked Remembrance Poppies worn in Canada and throughout the Commonwealth of Nations are made in Leominster, Massachusetts, at Spectro Coating Corp.

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