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The News Editorial: Our veterans deserve our utmost respect

 

November 11, 2021



11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918, an armistice was reached between the Allied nations and Germany effectively ending World War I, albeit the official end through the Treaty of Versailles would not come until June 28, 1919.

But Nov. 11 came to be a time to honor our veteran servicemen and women. In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the day as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, an act on 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.”

An interesting bit of history unbeknown to me until researching for this writing is that in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Holiday Bill to provide three-day weekends, putting Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Columbus Day all on Mondays.

However, there was such an outcry in 1971, the first observance of Veterans Day on a Monday, on Oct. 25, that in 1975, the holiday was moved back to Nov. 11.

According to the Veterans Affairs, “It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production.”

But, sometimes holidays are not about three-day weekends. Sometimes those dates mean something.

In the Veterans Affairs article on the history of Veterans Day it states, “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.”

Armistice Day was to be a day to observe the end of the “war to end all wars.” While that did not happen, the date means something to veterans who served.

This Veterans Day I think back to July of this year and that from Billings, Montana, down the highway to Worland, Wyoming, thousands paid a wonderful tribute to a fallen hero, Lt. Ray Krogman.

Whether killed in action and brought home after paying the ultimate sacrifice such as Lt. Krogman or the 13 Marines in Afghanistan earlier this year, whether stationed at home during peace time, or whether serving a deployment in a hostile land and returning home, every veteran, every military personnel who has served or is serving deserves our utmost respect for fighting to keep us free, and fighting for freedom for others who cannot fight for themselves.

All of our veterans deserve the welcome home that Lt. Krogman received this year. It should not take 50 years.

So, if you see a veteran, not just this week, not just on Thursday thank them for their service, thank them for your freedom.

--Karla Pomeroy

 
 

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