“Land Of The Free, Because Of The Brave” Veterans Day 2008
November 11, 2008
Throughout the history of this great nation, men and women from various walks of life, have stood up and declared that they were willing to do whatever was necessary to defend our country and our way of life. Because of this, it’s only proper that we as citizens of the United States of America would set aside a day each year to honor and remember these great men and women, many of whom have paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation. Today, November 11th is that day, Veteran’s Day. A day in which we take a moment to reflect, remember, honor and thank the men and women of our country’s Armed Forces, who have so diligently over the years been willing to sacrifice for our country.
Veteran’s Day wasn’t always known as such. Initially, November 11th was known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, the anniversary that signaled the end of World War I, a war in which my grandfather fought. On November 11, 1918, major hostilities of that war were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, with the German signing of the Armistice.1
President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 12, 1919. Congress then passed a resolution seven years later on June 4, 1926 which requested that the President issue another proclamation to observe Armistice Day on November 11th. On May 13th, 1938 an act was approved which declared November 11th each year as a legal holiday and as a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter known as Armistice Day.
In 1953, a shoe store owner named Al King in Emporia, Kansas had the idea to expand Armistice Day to also celebrate Veterans. Not just veterans who served in World War I, but all Veterans who serve this country in the coming years. He launched a campaign to turn Armistice Day into “All Veterans Day.” The chamber of commerce in Emporia, Kansas took up the cause. With the assistance of then US Representative Ed Rees, who hailed from Emporia a bill was introduced and passed through Congress. On May 26, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Kansas native, signed it into law. On November 8, 1954, Congress the bill, replacing the word “Armistice” with Veterans and from then forward, November 11th of each year has been known as Veterans Day.2
On October 31, 2008, President George W. Bush issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring November 11, 2008, as Veterans Day.
Veterans Day, 2008
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America
On Veterans Day, we pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the men and women who in defense of our freedom have bravely worn the uniform of the United States.
From the fields and forests of war-torn Europe to the jungles of Southeast Asia, from the deserts of Iraq to the mountains of Afghanistan, brave patriots have protected our Nation’s ideals, rescued millions from tyranny, and helped spread freedom around the globe. America’s veterans answered the call when asked to protect our Nation from some of the most brutal and ruthless tyrants, terrorists, and militaries the world has ever known. They stood tall in the face of grave danger and enabled our Nation to become the greatest force for freedom in human history. Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard have answered a high calling to serve and have helped secure America at every turn.
Our country is forever indebted to our veterans for their quiet courage and exemplary service. We also remember and honor those who laid down their lives in freedom’s defense. These brave men and women made the ultimate sacrifice for our benefit. On Veterans Day, we remember these heroes for their valor, their loyalty, and their dedication. Their selfless sacrifices continue to inspire us today as we work to advance peace and extend freedom around the world.
With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service members have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor America’s veterans.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2008, as Veterans Day and urge all Americans to observe November 9 through November 15, 2008, as National Veterans Awareness Week. I encourage all Americans to recognize the bravery and sacrifice of our veterans through ceremonies and prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to support and participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I invite civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, businesses, unions, and the media to support this national observance with commemorative expressions and programs.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.
GEORGE W. BUSH
Today, as we have Troops stationed across the globe, with many involved in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, we as Americans need to take a moment to reflect on where our country might be today, were it not for these brave souls and the many who have served before them. We should be eternally grateful, that some in our country are willing to do whatever they have to, to ensure that we as American citizens, can continue to live as we wish, free of tyranny. As I think about our Veterans today, I shudder to think what life might be like in this country, had it not been for them.
Please take some time today, to thank a Veteran for their service to our country. Thank them for our freedoms and our way of life. Don’t forget our fallen veterans as you go about your day today. Think about the ideals that they willingly gave their lives for. The video above, is a video that I put together to the fantastic song by Hank Brake called Thank You. Hank himself is a veteran and no song expresses my thoughts and feelings about our Veterans, better than this one. This country is truly the “Land Of The Free, Because Of The Brave.”
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterans_Day [↩]
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterans_Day [↩]
- http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/10/20081031-1.html [↩]