‘Honoring Those Men and Women Who Have Served In The Armed Forces For Our Freedom’
Veterans Day is an official United States federal holiday that is observed annually on November 11, honoring people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, also known as veterans.
The History of Veterans Day
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. Armistice Day was created for November 11 to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, and for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I. The date was declared a national holiday in many allied nations, to commemorate those members of the armed forces who were killed during war.
The United States Congress passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies.
In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Weeks led the first national celebration in 1947 in Alabama and annually until his death in 1985.
U.S. Representative Ed Rees from Emporia, Kansas, presented a bill establishing the holiday through Congress. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, also from Kansas, signed the bill into law on May 26, 1954. It had been eight and a half years since Weeks held his first Armistice Day celebration for all veterans.
Congress amended the bill on June 1, 1954, replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans,” and it has been known as Veterans Day since.
(The above information is from wikipedia)
Veterans Day Events In Philadelphia
- Veterans Day Parade ~ November 6 ~ Starting around 12 pm, the Philadelphia Veterans Day Committee will be holding the 2nd Official Philadelphia Veterans Day Parade. The parade starts at the intersection of S. Broad and Walnut Streets. The parade will march north to City Hall and make a quarter turn and head east on Market St. to Independence Hall. This should be a spectacular event with a jump by a parachute team, cadets from the Naval and Military academies, the Philadelphia City Troop Calvary, Buffalo Soldiers, a 30-by-60-foot flag, military vehicles and several junior ROTC groups.~ Veterans Day Parade in Philadelphia ~ More info on Veterans Day Parade ~
- Veterans Day at National Constitution Center ~ November 11 ~ FREE for Veterans & Active military personal. $5 for the public courtesy of Macys Inc. The day begins with a special Flag Raising Ceremony overlooking Independence Mall at 9 am on the front lawn of the National Constitution Center. At 11 am there is a moment of silence and wreath-laying ceremony at Grand Hall Overlook. Throughout the day, guests will be able to have chats while listening to stories from veterans from multiple conflicts throughout our nation’s recent history, write thank-you letters to veterans, make crafts and more. ~ Veterans Day at National Constitution Center ~
- Veterans Day at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier ~ November 11 ~ From 10 am – 11 am at Washington Square (7th & Walnut Streets), the Philadelphia Veterans Advisory Commission will observe Veterans Day with a ceremony where a statue of George Washington stands at the tomb of an unknown soldier who died during the War for Independence. ~ Veterans Day at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier ~
- Veterans Day Commemoration at Valley Forge National Park ~ November 11 ~ FREE – From 11 am to 3 pm held at the National Memorial Arch, Valley Forge National Historical Park will commemorate the Continental Army’s legacy, and honor all of America’s military, past and present, with special events throughout the day. ~ Veterans Day Commemoration at Valley Forge National Park ~
- Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial Ceremony ~ November 11 ~ (November 9, 2016 – Still waiting for confirmation on this event – please check back) Starting at 12:30 pm at the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Front & Spruce Streets), the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund hosts a Veterans Day ceremony at the commemorative site overlooking the Delaware River. ~ Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial Ceremony ~
- Salute to Veterans on the Cruiser Olympia ~ November 11 ~ FREE to all Veterans & Active Duty Military with discounts to their family member – From 1:30 pm to 3 pm at the Independence Seaport Museum, join in honoring those who served in the United States Armed Forces. This memorial celebration aboard Spanish-American War Cruiser Olympia will feature a ceremony performed by the Living History Crew and fellow Vietnam veterans, the firing of Cruiser Olympia’s signal guns and tours of historic ships Cruiser Olympia and Submarine Becuna. ~ Celebration aboard Spanish-American War Cruiser Olympia ~
Free Meals & Discounts For Veterans
Photo credited to Charles Mostoller
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