VETERANS DAY, 2014
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, A PROCLAMATION
Since the birth of our Nation, American patriots have stepped forward to serve our country and defend our way of life. With honor and distinction, generations of servicemen and women have taken up arms to win our independence, preserve our Union, and secure our freedom. From the Minutemen to our Post-9/11 Generation, these heroes have put their lives on the line so that we might live in a world that is safer, freer, and more just, and we owe them a profound debt of gratitude. On Veterans Day, we salute the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who have rendered the highest service any American can offer, and we rededicate ourselves to fulfilling our commitment to all those who serve in our name.
Today, we are reminded of our solemn obligation: to serve our veterans as well as they have served us. As we continue our responsible drawdown from the war in Afghanistan and more members of our military return to civilian life, we must support their transition and make sure they have access to the resources and benefits they have earned. My Administration is working to end the tragedy of homelessness among our veterans, and we are committed to providing them with quality health care, access to education, and the tools they need to find a rewarding career. As a Nation, we must ensure that every veteran has the chance to share in the opportunity he or she has helped to defend. Those who have served in our Armed Forces have the experience, skills, and dedication necessary to achieve success as members of our civilian workforce, and it is critical that we harness their talent.
Across our country, veterans who fought to protect our democracy around the globe are strengthening it here at home. Once leaders in the Armed Forces, they are now pioneers of industry and pillars of their communities. Their character reflects our enduring American spirit, and in their example, we find inspiration and strength.
This day, and every day, we pay tribute to America’s sons and daughters who have answered our country’s call. We recognize the sacrifice of those who have been part of the finest fighting force the world has ever known and the loved ones who stand beside them. We will never forget the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice and all those who have not yet returned home. As a grateful Nation, let us show our appreciation by honoring all our veterans and working to ensure the promise of America is within the reach of all who have protected it.
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 our Nation’s veterans.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2014, as Veterans Day. I encourage all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I call on all Americans, including civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, and communities to support this day with commemorative expressions and programs.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
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, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”
Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities. This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”
The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.
The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and
Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.
An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation”which stated: “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.”
On that same day, President Eisenhower sent a letter to the Honorable Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), designating him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.
In 1958, the White House advised VA’s General Counsel that the 1954 designation of the VA Administrator as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee applied to all subsequent VA Administrators. Since March 1989 when VA was elevated to a cabinet level department, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has served as the committee’s chairman.
The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.
The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.
Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
Happy Veterans Day
Iraq veteran, activist Tomas Young dies at 34
Published on Nov 10, 2014
Iraq War veteran and anti-war activist Tomas Young has died at the age of 34. One of the first to openly oppose the US-led war after being paralyzed while deployed, Young spoke to many, including RT, about why we should demand more of our leaders. RT’s Manila Chan has the interview.
Vets can make out with several freebies on Veterans Day
Veterans and active military personnel can eat for free at many establishments on Veterans Day.
(Photo: Largemouth Communications)
Let’s say you’re a veteran with lots of free time — and big ambitions to rake in plenty of pay-back for your service to your country.
Well, some of America’s biggest and most patriotic brands have three words of advice for you: go for it.
If you play your cards right on Veterans Day — and some other days, too — here’s how freebie-seeking veterans and active military can cash in. This list is not comprehensive — and some require military ID or have other requirements.
• Get a free haircut. Veterans who visit Great Clips shops on Nov. 11, can either receive a free haircut — or a card for a free haircut to redeem by Dec. 31.
• Eat a free meal. At Hooters, the freebie meal on Veterans Day can be worth up to $10.99, with any drink purchase. Applebee’s, Chili’s and California Pizza Kitchen all offer free meals from a special menu to vets and active military.
• Eat a free buffet. Golden Corral is serving free dinner buffets (with beverages) from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 17, at all restaurants, to anyone who is serving or who has served in the military. That same date, Bonanza Steakhouses also will offer free buffets for vets and active military.
• Down a free burger. Shoney’s offers its signature All-American Burger, free, to vets or active duty military all day on Veterans Day. Or, you can head to Red Robin and get a Red’s Tavern Double burger with Bottomless Steak Fries, on the house. Max & Erma’s offers a free cheeseburger combo and dessert to vets and active military.
• Drink a free coffee. Starbucks is offering a free, tall brewed coffee on Tuesday to all U.S. military veterans and active duty servicemembers — and their spouses.
• Scarf down free pancakes. IHOP offers vets and active military free Red, White and Blue pancakes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Bob Evans also has all-you-can-eat hotcakes on Veterans Day for veterans and active military.
• Lick a free cone. Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and Yogurt shops are giving away free single-scoop ice cream cones to all veterans and military personnel on Tuesday.
Work-out for free. 24-Hour Fitness offers free use of the health club to vets and active military through Tuesday.
• Enjoy a free appetizer. Red Lobster, through Thursday, is offering free appetizers to veterans and active duty military.
• Sip a free beer. Restaurants owned by CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries (including Gordon Biersch Brewery, Rock Bottom, Old Chicago Pizza and ChopHouse & Brewery) offer a free craft beer to active and retired military Tuesday.
• Down a free doughnut — and coffee. Krispy Kreme will give a free doughnut and small coffee to anyone who identifies themselves as a veteran or active duty military on Veterans Day.
• Get free game tokens. Chuck E. Cheese will give 20 free tokens to U.S. military vets and active-duty military through Saturday.
• Get your junk hauled, free. For disabled veterans, JDog Junk Removal & Hauling locations, will offer free junk removal to disabled vets who book on Veterans Day.
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: Alabama, Arms industry, Barack Obama, Cyber Monday, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Establishment (Pakistan), Family, Federal government of the United States, Iraq veteran activist Tomas Young, Jill Biden, Military, President, Treaty of Versailles, United States, United States Armed Forces, United States Congress, Veteran, Veterans Day, Woodrow Wilson, World War I, World War II | 14 Comments »