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History Behind Veteran's Day


Honoring America's Veterans

Throughout our history, millions of American men and women have chosen to serve their nation and their fellow citizens by entering the US military where they willingly gave their time, talents, and even their lives to protect our cherished freedoms. On Veterans Day, we honor these patriots.

The establishment of Veterans Day as a national holiday centered around the close of World War I, which ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. In 1919 President Woodrow Wilson declared it to be the Armistice Day holiday to commemorate that peace. In 1938, Armistice Day became a national holiday and then in 1954, following both World War II and the Korean War, that holiday was officially renamed Veterans Day.

However, Americans appreciated their military veterans long before a holiday was established for them in the 20th Century. For example, George Washington (our first commanding military general and also our first president) discussed the importance not only of veterans but also of providing veteran benefits, pointing out:

It was a part of their [the soldiers'] hire--I may be allowed to say, it was the price of their blood and of your independency. It is therefore more than a common debt; it is a debt of honor, it can never be considered as a pension or gratuity.

This "debt of honor" could also easily apply to the Declaration signers who fought in the War for Independence. Those who saw active military service include names such as Caesar RodneyWilliam Whipple, and Oliver Wolcott. And those captured in battle include Thomas Heyward Jr.Arthur MiddletonEdward Rutledge, and George Walton.

Our freedom continues to be protected by brave men and women who deserve our appreciation and support, and we encourage you to remember America's heroes! Make this Veterans Day special by thanking a veteran for their service, and consider sending a card to veterans in nursing homes, where so many have been cut off from family and friends. And of course, remember to pray for our military members and their families! May God bless our veterans, and may God bless America!

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