October 11, 2014 - Special Edition

OCTAE Newsletter

Special Edition

 November 10, 2014

Veterans Day 2014: Honoring All Who Have Served

veteran

This special edition of the OCTAE Connection, honoring all veterans of all wars, is a follow-up to the Oct.16  and Oct. 30 editions, which focused on veterans’ educational needs.  We wish to share its message with our many and diverse stakeholders across the country who have served and continue to serve our nation’s veterans. We encourage you to take time in your states, locales and regions to experience and to teach others about the enduring legacy of Veterans Day.

Veterans Day began as Armistice Day in 1919, through a proclamation from President Wilson.  It commemorated the resolution to end World War I, the “War to End All Wars,” that went into effect at the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of the previous year. In 1938, Armistice Day was declared a legal holiday, and in 1954, the 83rd Congress changed the holiday’s name to “Veterans Day” in order to recognize all veterans. In 1968, a law was passed that designated Veterans Day as a Monday holiday in order to give federal employees three-day weekends. But in 1975, President Ford signed a law to ensure that Veterans Day is always observed on Nov. 11. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to Nov. 11 not only preserved the historical significance of the date but also helped focus attention on its important purpose: honoring America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

This newsletter is written and comes to you from the very heart of the nation’s capital. In D.C and the surrounding areas, we are privileged to be reminded daily of America’s great legacy of service. We are witness to a host of activities at historic locations and monuments celebrating and honoring America’s veterans.  These include the wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery; the Vietnam Veterans Memorial ceremony, which pays tribute to all of our country’s servicemen and servicewomen; and the transportation of World War II veterans to D.C., through the Honor Flight Network, to see the World War II Memorial dedicated to them.

Yet, wherever we live, Veterans Day provides us with an extraordinary opportunity to remind ourselves, as well as to teach our nation’s young people and our newest citizens, about this special day of observance, and how to honor and serve our veterans during and after Nov. 11.

We encourage our readers to visit the Veterans Affairs website to learn more about the history of Veterans Day, download teaching tools, find out about ways to volunteer, learn about the Veterans History Project, and view and share this year’s and past commemorative posters.

The White House website also has a list of ways to commemorate Veterans Day.