Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Veterans Day used to be called Armistice Day and was first celebrated on November 11, 1919, by President Woodrow Wilson. It was to honor the fallen soldiers of The Great War for their sacrifice and bravery during the war. In 1926, Congress requested that it be made a legal holiday.

In 1945, Raymond Weeks, a WWII veteran thought it should be a day to celebrate all veterans. General Dwight Eisenhower was in favor of the idea. Weeks organized the first Veteran’s Day celebration in Alabama in 1945 until he died in 1985. In 1982 he was given the Presidential Citizenship Medal by President Reagan and Elizabeth Dole named him the “Father of Veteran’s Day.”

President Eisenhower signed the bill into law on May 26, 1954. Congress amended the Act of 1938 and changed the word Armistice to Veterans. On June 1, 1954, November 11th became the day to honor all American veterans.

I have had my students make flag pins for veterans and we have gone to Veteran’s Day ceremonies to pass out the pins. I think bringing pins to VA hospitals and VA nursing homes would also be a great place to do this.

Photo by Stephanie Klepacki on Unsplash

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