Fall holidays are the topic of this week, but I wanted to veer from the standard of Halloween and Thanksgiving and focus instead on the United States Armed Forces and the holidays of remembrance.
Honor. Integrity. Character. Dignity. Words that describe the brave men and women of our Armed Forces, celebrated by Veterans Day and National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
Veterans Day was first designated a holiday on November 11th, 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson. Originally called Armistice Day, it marked the anniversary of 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.
A Congressional Act in 1938 made it a national holiday, and in 1945, Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all United States veterans. In 1954, Armistice Day was officially renamed Veterans Day.
Veterans Day differs from Memorial Day in that it celebrates the service of all United States veterans, not only the ones who died while serving. Observances include parades and ceremonies honoring local veterans, along with the closing of some businesses, schools, and non-essential federal government offices.
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is a day of remembrance to honor all who died or were injured during the attack of an United States Air Force base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941 America's naval base in Pearl Harbor was attacked by the forces of the Empire of Japan. More than 2,400 Americans were killed and more than 1,100 were wounded. The attack sank four U.S. Navy battleships and damaged four more. It also damaged or sank three cruisers, three destroyers, one minelayer and damaged 188 aircraft.
|U.S.S West Virginia|
The day after the attack, the United States declared war on Japan and officially entered World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt declared it “a date which will live in infamy.”
While not a federal holiday, it is a tradition to fly flags at half-staff until sunset. Memorials have been built on the site of the attack and special events honor those killed or injured at Pearl Harbor.
Whether trick-or-treating or watching the football game while feasting on turkey this fall, let’s not forget our veterans, and the holidays of remembrance.
Writing prompt: Joe had finished the letter to Nancy, tucking it with care under his pillow on the hard bunk when a tremendous crash...
Pictures from Wikipedia Commons