Veteran’s Day has an interesting history. It was originally proclaimed by then-president Woodrow Wilson in the following statement:
“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, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”
In the original observance, all commerce came to a stop for 2 minutes at 11 A.M. They also had parades where war veterans would parade in their uniforms.
In 1938, Armistice Day became a national holiday.
After the 2nd World War and the Korean War, President Eisenhower signed a bill officially changing the holiday’s name to Veteran’s Day. This made sense because we would otherwise have too many national holidays to celebrate the end of all of the wars. Every war was different, fought for different reasons, but the one thing that they had in common was that they all created veterans.
That’s one thing that this country, the United States of America, is very good at doing: creating veterans. Now don’t get me wrong, I admire and respect our war veterans as much as the next person, I just wish that there were fewer of them.
In the best of all possible worlds, then, best case scenario, we should have no veterans because we don’t fight wars any more.
And that would be good because then we could pass a law in which November 11th again commemorates the end of The Great War.
Something tells me that that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.