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Honoring gatekeepers, defenders of nation’s freedoms

By Verda L. Parker | Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | November 13, 2014

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Veterans Day is a time that the country pauses to remember, recognize and honor centuries of warfighters for their sacrifices in standing watch over America’s liberties.

For decades, Nov. 11 has been a day set aside to pay tribute to service members both past and present.

Historically, in 1918, the holiday was first celebrated as Armistice Day, when President Woodrow Wilson dedicated it as an opportunity for “honoring and furthering world peace,” according to the Spotlight on Freedom website, www.spotlightonfreedom.com.

According to information on the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs website, Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I.

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.”

The Act approved May 13, 1938, made Nov. 11, each year a legal holiday. With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

While both honoring the nation’s military personnel, the former is a day to remember and pay respect to all the men and women who died serving the country in a war, while Veterans Day is to celebrate the service members who are still alive and served in the forces at any time, during peace or war, the website further indicated.

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 a.m.

Whatever individuals choose to do to honor the nation’s veterans, pause and show your gratitude in some small way for the service and sacrifices they have given to preserve America’s freedoms, the liberties its citizens enjoy today.

For more information on the history of the Veterans Day holiday, and legislation related to the observance, visit: www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp.
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