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The History and Importance of Veterans Day

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1 The History and Importance of Veterans Day

2 The History of Veterans Day
This U.S. holiday stretches back to the end of World War I and commemorates the nation's thousands of combat veterans who fought in the service of their country.

3 Veterans Day Facts The number of military veterans in the United States in 2008 is 23.2 million. Female Veterans There are 1.8 million female veterans as of 2008. Race and Hispanic Origin The number of black veterans as of 2008 is 2.3 million. Additionally, 1.1 million veterans were Hispanic; 276,000 were Asian; 160,000 were American Indian or Alaska Native; 27,000 were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and 18.3 million were non-Hispanic white. (The numbers for blacks, Asians, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and non-Hispanic whites cover only those reporting a single race.)

4 Veterans Day Facts When They Served
There are 9.2 million veterans 65 and older in At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.9 million were younger than 35. The number of Vietnam-era veterans as of 2008 is 7.9 million. Thirty-three percent of all living veterans served during this time ( ). In addition, 5.2 million served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present); 2.6 million in World War II ( ); 2.8 million in the Korean War ( ); and 6 million in peacetime. As of 2008, there are 50,000 living veterans who served during both the Vietnam and Gulf War eras. Other living veterans in 2008 who served during two or more wars: – 92,000 served during three periods: World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Living veterans in 2008 who served during two wars: – 740,000 served during both Gulf War eras. – 245,000 served during both the Korean War and the Vietnam Era. – 182,000 served during both World War II and the Korean War.

5 History of Veterans Day
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as "the Great War." Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars.

6 The History of Veterans Day
The Great War & Armistice Day Though the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, November 11 remained in the public imagination as the date that marked the end of the Great War. In November 1918, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. The day's observation included parades and public gatherings, as well as a brief pause in business activities at 11 a.m. On November 11, 1921, an unidentified American soldier killed in the war was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.; the U.S. Congress had declared the day a legal federal holiday in honor of all those who participated in the war. On the same day, unidentified soldiers were laid to rest at Westminster Abbey in London and at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

7 The History of Veterans Day
On June 4, 1926, Congress passed a resolution that the "recurring anniversary of [November 11, 1918] should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations" and that the president should issue an annual proclamation calling for the observance of Armistice Day. By that time, 27 state legislatures had made November 11 a legal holiday. An act approved May 13, 1938 made November 11 a legal Federal holiday, "dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day.'" In actuality, there are no U.S. 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. In practice, however, states almost always follow the federal lead. - **Example of Federalism!!!!

8 The History of Veterans Day
From Armistice Day to Veterans Day The American effort during World War II ( ) saw the greatest mobilization of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force in the nation's history (more than 16 million people); some 5.7 million more served in the Korean War (1950 to 1953). In 1954, after lobbying efforts by veterans' service organizations, the 83rd U.S. Congress amended the 1938 act that had made Armistice Day a holiday, striking the word "Armistice" in favor of "Veterans." President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the legislation on June 1, From then on, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

9 The History of Veterans Day
Celebrating Veterans Day around the World Britain, France, Australia and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World Wars I and II on or near November 11th: Canada has Remembrance Day, while Britain has Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday of November). In Europe, Britain and the Commonwealth countries it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11. In the United States, an official wreath-laying ceremony is held each Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery, while parades and other celebrations are held in states around the country. Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day--a common misunderstanding, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Memorial Day (the fourth Monday in May) honors American service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle, while Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans--living or dead--but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

10 The History of Veterans Day
DID YOU KNOW? Red poppies, a symbol of World War I (from their appearance in the 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.

11 The Red Poppy- In Flanders Fields
Long before the Great War, the red poppy had become a symbol of death, renewal and life. The seeds of the flower can remain dormant in the earth for years, but will blossom spectacularly when the soil is churned. Beginning in late 1914, the fields of Northern France and Flanders became the scene of stupendous disturbances. Red Poppys soon appeared. In 1915, at a Canadian dressing station north of Ypres on the Essex Farm, an exhausted physician named Lt. Col. John McCrae would take in the view of the poppy strewn Salient and experience a moment of artistic inspiration. The veteran of the South African War was able to distill in a single vision the vitality of the red poppy symbol, his respect for the sacrifice made by his patients and dead comrades, and his intense feeling of obligation to them. McCrae would capture all of this in the most famous single poem of the First World War, In Flanders Fields

12 The Red Poppy- In Flanders Fields
John McCrae The doctor's work achieved immediate universal popularity which was subsequently reinforced by his own death in 1918 from pneumonia and meningitis. He was buried in a military cemetery near Calais on the English Channel, thus becoming one with those of whom he wrote in his famous poem. Probably by the time of his internment, John McCrae's verse had forever bound the image of the Red Poppy to the memory of the Great War. The poppy was eventually adopted by the British and Canadian Legions as the symbol of remembrance of World War One and a means of raising funds for disabled veterans. An American war volunteer, Moina Michael, helped establish the symbol in the US where the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion also embraced the Red Poppy tradition.

13 Flanders Fields- Poem In Flanders Fields
By John McCrae In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row by row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard among the guns below. We are the dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved, and were loved, and now we lie                     In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe; To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If yea break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow                     In Flanders fields.

14 Picture ROBERT VONNOH 1858-1933
In Flanders Field-Where Soldiers Sleep and Poppies Grow, 1890 (copyright date, 1914) You can see this famous painting at the Butler Art Institute in Youngstown Ohio

15 Pictures of Veterans, WWII, Vietnam War, War In Iraq

16 WWII Photos Dwight D. Eisenhower talking to a group of paratroopers the day before D-Day! June 5th, 1944.

17 WWII Photos On the boat headed for the beaches on D-Day! June 6th, 1944.

18 WWII Photos- Images of Pearl Harbor

19 WWII- Images of Pearl Harbor

20 Famous WWII Photos

21 Normandy

22 Pictures of Vietnam

23 Pictures of Vietnam

24 Pictures from the War in Iraq

25 Pictures from the War in Iraq

26 VETERAN’S DAY CARDS For extra credit, you can make 2 Veteran’s Day cards!! 1. Sgt. Joseph Revetti- Army, served 1 year in Iraq and is an Army Recruiter 2. Clp. Scott Turner- Retired Marine **Turn into me by the end of Friday**

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