Veterans Day observed locally, nationally

Today is Veterans Day, observed throughout the U.S. as a time to honor the contribution of all who have served in the country’s armed services.

Locally, Veterans Day was marked Saturday with the traditional parade in downtown Troy, ending at the Montgomery County Courthouse.

President Woodrow Wilson established Armistice Day, forerunner to the modern Veterans Day, on Nov. 11, 1919. (photo by A. B. Lagrelius & Westphal, Stockholm)

President Woodrow Wilson established Armistice Day, forerunner to the modern Veterans Day, on Nov. 11, 1919. (photo by A. B. Lagrelius & Westphal, Stockholm)

The history of Veterans Day dates back to 1919, when, on the first anniversary of the end of the first World War, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as “Armistice Day”. In 1938, Congress declared the day a legal holiday and dedicated it “the cause of world peace.”

Eisenhower signing of HR7786, June 1, 1954, this ceremony changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day. Alvin J. King, Wayne Richards, Arthur J. Connell, John T. Nation, Edward Rees, Richard L. Trombla, Howard W. Watts. (photo courtesy Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum)

President Eisenhower’s signing of HR7786, June 1, 1954, changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day. Alvin J. King, Wayne Richards, Arthur J. Connell, John T. Nation, Edward Rees, Richard L. Trombla, Howard W. Watts. (photo courtesy Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum)

In 1954, after the start of the Korean Conflict, lawmakers changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation.

On Saturday, President Barack Obama focused on veterans in the weekly address.

President Obama said, “Veterans Day weekend is a chance for all of us to say two simple words: Thank you. Thank you to that ‘greatest generation’ who fought island by island across the Pacific and freed millions from fascism in Europe. Thank you to the heroes who risked everything through the bitter cold of Korea and the stifling heat of Vietnam. And thank you to all the heroes who have served since – most recently, our 9/11 generation of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The president called on lawmakers to support legislation to create more opportunities for veterans in areas of education and job training, and he expressed his own support for those who have served the country.

President Barack Obama called for Congressional support of veterans training and education programs in his weekly address, Sat., Nov. 9, 2013. (White House image)

President Barack Obama called for Congressional support of veterans training and education programs in his weekly address, Sat., Nov. 9, 2013. (White House image)

“So to all our veterans, on behalf of our entire nation, thank you for everything you have done and will continue to do for our country. As your Commander in Chief, I am proud of your service and grateful for your sacrifice. And, as long as I’m your President, I will make it my mission to make sure America has your back – not just on one day or one weekend, but 365 days a year.”

In the 1970s, Veterans Day was one of the federal holidays whose observance was moved to Monday. Many complained, and President Gerald R. Ford moved Veterans Day back to Nov. 11, regardless of the day of the week.

Local, state and federal offices will reopen on a regular schedule tomorrow. Emergency services continue without interruption at 911, and non-emergency issues can be reported around the clock at 910-572-1313.

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