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"The willingness of America's veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude." — Jeff Miller.

Saturday, November 11, 2023, is Veterans Day. I am immensely thankful for our veterans. All have served us in many different capacities, both stateside and abroad, during peacetime and war. ALL are valuable and deserve to be thanked for their service.

I have had the opportunity to listen to veterans from different eras, and I find their stories fascinating.

When I worked at a church, the older generation would come into the office and talk about WWII. When I was married, my now ex-husband was military. I gained a new understanding of the work the military does. (I was married during Operation Desert Shield/Operation Desert Storm.) I have friends that were in Vietnam. They never talk about their war experience but share funny things that happened. I even have a friend who served in the Korean War. He doesn't share much. He says he is in his 90s and wants to focus on living life to the fullest!

I thought you might like some history on Veterans Day, so I researched and found the following information.

Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, commemorates the end of World War I and honors all military veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Here's a brief history of Veterans Day:

· World War I: The origins of Veterans Day can be traced back to November 11, 1918, when an armistice (a temporary end of hostilities) was declared between the Allied nations and Germany, effectively ending World War I. This ceasefire took effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

· Armistice Day: The following year, in 1919, November 11th was recognized as Armistice Day in the United States, a day to honor the veterans and the soldiers who had fought in World War I. Many other countries also observed this day, often under different names.

· Expansion of Recognition: After World War II and the Korean War, there was a push to expand Armistice Day to include all veterans, not just those from World War I. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill into law officially changing the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day to recognize and honor all American veterans.

· Uniform Holiday Bill: In 1968, the Uniform Holiday Bill was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, which aimed to provide more three-day weekends for federal employees by moving the observance of certain holidays to specific Mondays. As a result, Veterans Day was briefly moved to the fourth Monday in October.

· Return to November 11th: Due to widespread public discontent and a desire to preserve the historical significance of November 11th, Veterans Day was returned to its original date of November 11th in 1978. Since then, it has been celebrated on this date every year.

Veterans Day is a time for Americans to express their gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices made by veterans of all wars and conflicts. It is marked by various ceremonies, parades, events across the nation, as well as a moment of silence at 11:00 AM to honor the Armistice that ended World War I. It is an important day to recognize and remember the service and dedication of the men and women who have served in the U.S. military.

Before this week is over, I encourage you to thank a veteran!

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