THUMBS UP to all veterans and the day we set aside each year to honor their military service: Nov. 11.
We’re afraid, however, that Veterans Day doesn’t get the respect it deserves and that the younger generation and others may confuse it with Memorial Day. For that reason, we feel obliged to provide a short history lesson, with help from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, about the holiday that recognizes all veterans, including those who are still serving our country today.
It wasn’t even known as Veterans Day in the beginning. It was first known as Armistice Day in recognition of the armistice that ceased fighting in World War I at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month–Nov. 11, 1918. President Woodrow Wilson commemorated the first Armistice Day in 1919.
In 1938, it was formally recognized as a legal holiday by Congress. Following World War II and the Korean War, Congress decided that all veterans, not just those from World War I, should be remembered. So Congress in 1954 changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
The date for Veterans Day was changed to the last Monday in October by another act of Congress to create three-day weekends for federal employees. The first Veterans Day under the new schedule was observed on Oct. 25, 1971. After confusion and concerns expressed by veterans groups, states and others, Veterans Day was returned to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978.
While Veterans Day is set aside to remember all veterans, Memorial Day pays tribute to those who died serving in the military, particularly service members who were killed in battle or died from wounds sustained in battle.
THUMBS UP to Mother Nature, who apparently was paying attention to all the drought-related news this summer when residents were asked to reduce water consumption by 10 percent.
A much-needed winter storm last week and another one passing through this week have given us reason to be optimistic that the four-year dry spell could come to an end. Of course, it’s way too early to bet on something as unpredictable as the weather. Just ask a farmer.