Today is Veterans Day in the U.S., the day our government has set aside to honor those who have served in our armed forces. This is the first year that gay vets have been included in the celebration. In San Francisco the Gay Freedom Day Marching Band will be the lead unit in the city’s 92 annual Veterans Day Parade.
Originally called Armistice Day, the holiday was proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 to celebrate the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. In 1938 Congress passed a resolution requesting President Coolidge to issue another proclamation to observe November 11 as a day to remember those who had served in WWI and acted again in 1938 to approve the remembrance as a legal holiday as “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as Armistice Day.”
In 1954 President Eisenhower signed an amended bill into law that changed the holiday’s official name to Veterans Day and modified the honor to include all war veterans, not just those who had served during WWI. Although originally scheduled for celebration on November 11 of every year, starting in 1971 Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. In 1978, it was moved back to its original celebration on November 11 each year, one of the few federal holidays not celebrated on a Monday.
Everyone loves a man in uniform. Here are a few worth fighting for, or over, or with:
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