Veterans Corner September 2018

Veterans Day Facts



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, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served – not only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty.

It Was Originally Called Armistice Day

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied Nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as “the Great War.” Though the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919 declaring the official end of the war, the American public still viewed Nov. 11 as the date that marked the end of the Great War.

The following year, President Woodrow Wilson commemorated Nov. 11 as Armistice Day. In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress – at the urging of the veteran service organizations – amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Local Veterans Day Ceremony

Although Veterans Day is Nov. 11, since it falls on a Sunday this year the American Legion Post 288 and VFW Post 1614 will hold their annual ceremony at Two Strike Park in La Crescenta on the national holiday on Nov. 12 at 11 a.m. Historically the time for this event has been at 3 p.m., but since this marks the end of the Great War one hundred years ago, the time was changed to mirror the official time when the Great War ended – the 11th month on the 11th day at 1100 hours.

Wearing of Red Poppies

The wearing of poppies in honor of America’s war dead is traditionally done on Memorial Day, not Veterans Day. Nonetheless, the VFW will have red poppies available at the Veterans Day ceremony for those who would like one.

The practice of wearing poppies takes its origin from the poem “In Flanders Fields” written in 1915 by John McCrae. In the UK and Commonwealth countries, Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, is celebrated with the wearing of red poppies. In Britain, it is tradition to pause for a two-minute silence at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 to remember those killed in the two world wars and the British servicemen killed or injured since 1945.
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