Jim began this edition of Crosstalk by giving listeners an overview of the history of Veterans Day via information from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
WWI officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28th, 1919, at the Palace of Versailles. Fighting had ceased 7 months earlier when an armistice between the allied nations and Germany went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. For that reason, November 11th, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of the war to end all wars.
In November of 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11th as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. The original concept was for a day observed with parades, public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11am.
The U.S. Congress officially recognized the end of WWI when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4th, 1926. Then an act was approved on May 13th, 1938, making the 11th of November the legal holiday to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as Armistice Day. In 1954, after WWII had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen in our history, and after forces had fought aggression in Korea, at the urging of the veteran service organizations, the 83rd Congress amended the act of 1938 by striking out the word ‘armistice’ and putting the word ‘veterans’ in its place.
So with the approval of that legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11th became known as a day to honor American veterans from all wars. Later in that same year, President Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation.
Jim also included information commemorating this day from the Family Research Council, audio excerpts from a November 11, 1985, speech by Ronald Reagan and a poem by U.S. Army Veteran Charles Province.
The remainder of this Crosstalk consisted of comments from listeners as they honored and thanked those who have served and are still with us, as well as those who are currently serving.