Veteran’s Day is very important part of our American history. World War I officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. 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. In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. 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.
Congress officially recognized the end of World War I on June 4, 1926 with a day dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be 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 servicemen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, they amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting the word "Veterans.” Later that year, on October 8th, President Eisenhower issued the first "Veterans Day Proclamation".
The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was clear that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Ford signed a law which returned the observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978.
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. Those who have worn the uniform of the United States have been prepared to sacrifice life and limb for the sake of our people and values. We owe them a debt of gratitude greater than we can ever pay back. Veterans Day is not just a holiday for current veterans. On this day, Virginians too should be thinking about our future veterans - today's men and women serving both overseas and at home. We need to ensure we will give them the tools necessary to reintegrate and thrive in the civilian world once they have taken off the uniform. God bless our vets and God bless America.
This Veterans Day, I am hosting an event for any service member in my district. Any veteran in the area is welcome to stop by the Rustburg Ruritan Club on Friday, November 11th, from 5pm-7pm and enjoy a meal with your family. Please RSVP to the number or email below. I look forward to seeing our area veterans there and having the opportunity to thank them personally for their service to our great nation.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns that I or my Aide, Jenna, can help assist with in any way, please do not hesitate to call me (434) 821-5929 or email at Delmfariss@house.virginia.gov. You can also keep up with me on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DelegateMattFariss.