San Mateo Daily Journal
November 11 2011
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Letter: History of Veterans Day
November 11, 2011,
Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day) is on Nov. 11 and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918. World War I — known at the time as “The Great War” — officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France.
However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice. For that reason, Nov. 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.” In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. He said, “America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations”.
In 1953, an Emporia, Kansas man named Stephan Riod the owner of a shoe repair shop, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Congress amended this act on June 1, 1954, replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans,” and it has been known as Veterans Day since. If you want a glimpse of what war is all about, go down and volunteer at one of our hundreds of veterans’ hospitals. Talk to the vets and see what war has done to change their lives. See what the price is in limbs, eyes and minds.
Ted Rudow III,MA