The history of Veterans Day

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" Vietnam War Foundation and Museum holds a Veterans Day Open House, with a living history encampment, from 9 a.m.to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. Sunday". And this nation's obligation to support those who have served calls for more than words and more than a single day of acknowledgement each year.

Anyone with information on veterans who served from the area is asked to send information to California PA Vietnam War Honor Roll, P.O. Box 605, California, PA 15419.

Almost one hundred years ago, Veterans Day started to be celebrated as "Armistice Day", which originally started on Nov.11, 1919, as the first anniversary of the end of World War I.

One day isn't enough. More than 400,000 American soldiers were killed, while another 670,000 were wounded.

Red poppies, a symbol of World War I from their appearance in the beloved poem "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae, are sold in Canada and the United Kingdom on Remembrance Day to raise money for veterans or worn in the lapel as a tribute.

It was not until 1954 that Congress voted to replace "Armistice" with "Veterans", and it has been known as Veterans Day since. Congress made it a legal holiday in 1938.

In actuality, there are no US national holidays because the states retain the right to designate their own, and the government can only designate holidays for federal employees and for the District of Columbia. Although estimates vary, roughly 50 million people lost their lives in World War II, making it the largest and most destructive war of all time.

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Years later, it's a day we honor all Veterans past and present.

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Tomorrow is Veterans Day, but since it falls on a Saturday, today is the legal holiday for most federal, state, and county workers with most cities on normal schedules.

At a time when our country continues to suffer losses overseas and soldiers are returning forever changed, emotionally and physically, we can not forget what veterans have given up for us and our country.

In 1975, after it became evident that the actual date of Veterans Day carried historical and patriotic significance to many Americans, President Gerald Ford signed a new law returning the observation of Veterans Day to November 11th beginning in 1978. Several veterans organizations are also represented.

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day-a common misunderstanding, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Although many of us will embrace the opportunity for a day off from work, it is incumbent to recall the meaning of the occasion and to honor the efforts of more than 20 million living Americans who have worn the uniform of the United States - including about 1.3 million active personnel and 800,000 reserves.

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