Veterans’ Day—A Time to Honor the Warriors, Not War

Flavia Potenza
Flavia PotenzaBy Flavia Potenza

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Veterans’ Day—A Time to Honor the Warriors, Not War
Yesterday was Veterans Day, a day to honor those who went to war because their country called. On page 5, we have a heartwarming report on the community effort to replace a plaque honoring Topanga’s Eagle Scouts. It hung in the post office lobby until some time over the summer when it went missing. There are 31 names listed, the first from 1955. As I write this, I realize I know one Vietnam veteran who is a member of Veterans for Peace whose members “lift up the intention of November 11th as a day for peace.” (veteransforpeace.org) That said, I wonder that I don’t know how many veterans we have in Topanga, let alone their names, so we dug a little deeper as to the best way we might honor them. It’s easy enough for us to find pretty pictures and homilies, but although well meant, there should be more. And there is: military.com is a website that covers all branches of the military.* Its coverage reflects good journalism standards and offers a plethora of information for and about veterans and Veterans Day that we feel confident to share here. Timeline. Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918, the eleventh day of the eleventh month at 11 a.m. In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was "dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day,'" a legal holiday that honored World War I veterans. In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out "Armistice" and inserting "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill ensured three-day weekends for federal employees and Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. It was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971. Finally on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law that returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on Nov. 11. United States Senate Resolution 143, passed on August 4, 2001, designated the week of Nov. 11 through Nov. 17, 2001, as "National Veterans Awareness Week." The resolution calls for educational efforts directed at elementary and secondary school students. How do we express our appreciation and give back to veterans? Since it’s November 12, military.com suggested many ways to continue honoring our veterans at any time. There are many other organizations that offer support, services and appreciation for service members. Check out military.com/veterans-day/ways-to-give-back-to-veterans. Here’s one: Double Down for Veterans. Semper Fi & America’s Fund (The Fund) and The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation launched the 10th annual Double Down for Veterans Match Campaign. From November 4, 2021, until December 31, 2021, donations made to The Fund will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $10 million by The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation. Donations can be made online at: TheFund.org/Match, and other donation methods. Keep up to date on the campaign's progress and learn more about those benefiting from the work via semperfifund.org; @semperfifund. Show Up. There’s time to attend or create a Veterans Day event or perform a service this week (or year-round) for National Veterans Awareness Week. Fly a Flag Correctly. Any day is a great opportunity to fly the flag! To make sure you're observing the proper rules for display (they’re more extensive than you think): military.com/flag-day/us-flag-code.html. Write. A simple postcard or e-card on Veterans Day or any day is always welcome. If you don't know a veteran, look up the closest military installation and send one there. Small acts of recognizing someone's service, even anonymously, are appreciated. Don't Confuse Veterans Day with Memorial Day. Veterans Day is a time to thank those who are serving or have served and are still with us. Memorial Day is to reflect and remember those who lost their lives in service to their country. Visit a VA Hospital. Find out what the policies are at your nearest VA hospital to meet patients or volunteer to spend the day with a veteran. Even if you never interact with a veteran, helping at a facility is a way to give back. National K9 Veterans Day. Do you know a canine veteran? Add March 13 to your calendar to honor and commemorate the service and sacrifices of American military and working dogs throughout history. It was on March 13, 1942, that the Army began training for its new War Dog Program, also known as the "K-9 Corps," marking the first time that dogs were officially a part of the U.S. Armed Forces. By AmyBushatz, (military.com/author/amy-bushatz) *mediabiasfactcheck.com rates military.com as “‘Least Biased’ and generally reports factually with minimal bias.”
Flavia Potenza

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