Veterans Day approaching

Published 8:57 am Friday, November 4, 2011

To the Editor:

What is Veterans Day? Veterans Day gives Americans the opportunity to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans.

However, most Americans confuse this holiday with Memorial Day. Memorial Day honors service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle.

Deceased veterans are also remembered on Veterans Day, but the day is set aside to thank and honor living veterans who served honorably in the military — in wartime or peacetime.

Originally, Armistice Day was established in 1938 by legislation to honor the end of World War I. The end of “the war to end all wars” officially took place on Nov. 11, 1918. In 1954 an amendment to this act struck the word “Armistice” and inserted the word “Veterans” to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill was moved to the last Monday of October, but on Sept. 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law returning Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978.

I have lived in Franklin for numerous years and have written about other military holidays. Southampton County is very rich in military history commencing with the Civil War to present.

I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting and talking to World War II, Korean, Vietnam and other veterans. On Feb. 27, Frank Buckles, America’s last World War I veteran, passed.

World War II veterans are dying at a pace of more than 1,000 per day. A morbid thought to consider veterans of the “Greatest Generation.” Our time is closing to listen and learn from these great Americans.

We have two great veteran groups in Franklin: the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4411 and Charles R. Younts American Legion Post 73.

On Nov. 11, join all veterans in celebrating all they have done for family, friends and country. And if you like your freedom, thank a veteran. God Bless America!

Scott Seddon