Special Veterans Day Edition, November 11, 2016
A Veterans Day Message from Dr. Manno
Our society needs heroes. Heroes make us feel good and safe, and they model attributes to which we aspire. We often look to the media to provide us with examples of heroes. We see such heroes in movies, in television shows, in the sports arena, and highlighted in the news media. We know every good action movie or television show has a hero. The truth is, we do not need to look to fictional characters, Hollywood stars, or great athletes to quench our thirst for heroes. The truth is, there are heroes among us. Today we celebrate and recognize the heroes among us – these are the heroes who have served and sacrificed quietly and with humility. They are our United States Military personnel and Veterans.
World War I, known at the time as “The Great War,” officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “The War to End All Wars.”
In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words:
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I with a resolution on June 4, 1926. An Act approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I. However, in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation.
While the date of recognition of Veterans Day changed for a period of time in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Veterans Day continues today to be observed on November 11th each year. This day is a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
On behalf of our Board of Education, on this most special and solemn day, we offer our current and former military personnel our sincere and heartfelt thanks, for you have performed the most selfless act. You have placed your commitment to our country and our freedom ahead of your well-being, safety, and family. For this, we are eternally grateful and offer you our respect and appreciation. You are the heroes among us.