In the list of holidays for the last quarter of the year, there are three that will undoubtedly stand out in anyone’s book — Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Halfway after Halloween and before Thanksgiving, though, is another holiday that is definitely worth remembering — Veteran’s Day.
The 11th of November is remembered as the day when the First World War officially ended, with the signing of the Armistice by the Germans – on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year 1918; certainly a whole lot of 11s to make this significant day difficult to forget. Initially, the day was commemorated as Armistice Day, as proclaimed by the President of the United States Woodrow Wilson in 1919, a year after the historic day.
As other wars since the First World War came and went, it became apparent that there are other veterans that need to be remembered other than those who served in World War I that ended on Armistice Day. It was a shoe store owner from Emporia, Kansas, Al King, who came up with the idea to expand the reach of Armistice Day to include all American veterans, regardless of which war they fought in. President Dwight Eisenhower signed this inclusion into a law on May 26, 1954, and on November 8 that same year, Armistice Day became known as Veterans Day.
On Veterans Day weekend, one might want to commemorate the sacrifices of our beloved American soldiers by taking time to enrich our knowledge on the lives that they lead and the challenges that they face. Bratton DeLoach of islanpacket.com has recommendations for those who would like to do a bit of reading on Veterans Day, including:
• “A Gift of Valor; A War Story” by Michael Phillips, about the life of Medal of Honor recipient Marine Cpl Jason Dunham
• “Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10” by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson
• “Escape from the Deep: The Epic Story of a Legendar Submarine and Her Courageous Crew” by Alex Kershaw
• “Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives” by Jim Sheeler
• “The Medal of Honor: A Commemoration of South Carolina Recipients”