The Eleventh Hour: “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace”

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Veteran’s Day, was originally commemorated as Armistice Day, “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace.”

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Armistice Day–“The eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month”, in 1918, the major conflicts of World War I ended when the allies signed an armistice with Germany.

                    ‘November 11, 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the first commemoration of Armistice Day: “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… and because of the opportunity it has given  America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

On June 4, 1926, Congress passed a resolution “requesting that President  Coolidge issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies” (52 Stat. 351; 5 U.S. Code, Sec. 87a) the act was approved May 13, 1938, making November 11, a legal holiday with the appropriate ceremonies “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.”

 

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Veteran’s Day–Armistice Day morphed into Veteran’s Day- In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, who wanted Armistice Day to include all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Weeks led a delegation to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, who supported the idea of National Veterans Day and signed the bill into law on May 26, 1954.

Remembrance Day/Poppy Day–is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates,  are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

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The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem “In Flanders Fields“. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red color an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.

References:

Front page NYT: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/75/NYTimes-Page1-11-11-1918.jpg/474px-NYTimes-Page1-11-11-1918.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterans_Day

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrance_Day

http://www.historyextra.com/remembrance

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/flanders.htm 

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