Holidays that Celebrate Veterans
There are many holidays and special days that allow us to celebrate and thank the Veterans who have served our country. These holidays each have a special meaning and we can show support to those who have served by:
Flying the American flag (at half-staff until noon)
Flying the `POW/MIA` flag
Visiting Veteran memorials
Visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on Veteran`s graves
Participating in the “National Moment of Remembrance”
Going to parades and activities that support Veterans
Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day because, on November 11, 1918 at 11 AM, the Armistice was signed which ended World War I. In 1938 Congress made this date a Federal Holiday and in 1954 the name was changed to Veteran`s Day. It was declared to be a day to honor all American Veterans who have served our country.
The Fourth Of July
The Fourth of July is America`s birthday. We also call this holiday Independence Day because it is the day our founding Fathers signed the Declaration if Independence, on July 4, 1776.
Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have died serving our country. There are many stories about how the holiday started but it was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan and it was first observed on May 30, 1868. President Lyndon Johnson officially declared Waterloo, New York as the birthplace of Memorial Day and Congress passed the National Holiday Act of 1971 making it a Federal holiday. Originally Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30. Now it is the last Monday in May.
Over the years the meaning of Memorial Day seems to have become lost. To help Americans remember the meaning of this holiday, a “National Moment of Remembrance” was passed in 2000 which asks Americans to pause for a moment of silence.
Armed Forces Day
Originally we celebrated each branch of the service on a different day. We had Army Day, Air Force Day, Marine Corps Day, Navy Day and Coast Guard Day. It changed on August 31, 1949 when it was became a single day celebration, Armed Forces Day. It is now celebrated on the third Saturday of May.
Flag Day is also called Flag Birthday. It is said to have been started by a teacher in Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6 around 1885. President Woodrow Wilson made Flag Day official on May 30, 1916 and President Harry Truman signed an Act of Congress on August 3, 1949 designating June 14th as National Flag Day.
Pearl Harbor Day
Pearl Harbor on Oahu, Hawaii was unexpectedly attacked on December 7, 1941. A total of 2,390 people were killed and 1,178 were wounded. We also had 21 ships damaged and 320 aircraft damaged or destroyed. The USS Arizona had the greatest number of casualties, 1,177 in all. A memorial was constructed above where the Arizona sank and it is visited by thousands of Americans and people from other nations each year.
D-Day refers to June 6, 1944, the day American troops began the Battle of Normandy in France. During this confrontation the American, British and Canadian soldiers battled to free Europe from the Nazi occupation. Over 1,465 Americans were killed, 3,184 wounded, 1,928 missing and 26 captured. There are 9,387 American soldiers who fought in WWII buried at the Cemetery in Colleville-sur Mer, France.
Some websites on Veteran`s holidays are: