Veterans Day is the day we celebrate all who previously served in our nation’s armed forces and is a special day to thank them for their service. It is differentiated from Armed Forces Day, when we specifically honor those currently serving, and Memorial Day, when we honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. That said, I would like to thank all of you who are serving and those of you who have served our nation in uniform. I thank you for continuing to serve our community and for all that you do on behalf of our communities and all you have done in service to our nation.
In this update, dedicated specifically to Veterans Day, I have included a brief history of the day as well as some of the events being held in the district and elsewhere. I have also included a link to commercial enterprises who honor veterans on Veterans Day by offering discounts or “freebies”. I encourage all of you to attend at least one of the veteran events on Veterans Day and take advantage of one or more of these offers. You give so much to the community and this is one way the community says thank you.
History of Veterans Day
Veterans Day is celebrated on the anniversary of the signing of the armistice which ended World War I. This Armistice was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. President Wilson proclaimed the day should be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory.”
In 1926, the United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I and declared that the anniversary of the armistice should be commemorated with prayer and thanksgiving. The Congress requested that the president should “issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11th and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.”
Congress approved an act on May 13, 1938, which made November 11th in each year a legal holiday, known as Armistice Day. This day was originally intended to honor veterans of World War I. After World War II required the largest mobilization of service men in the history of the United States and American forces fought in Korea, veterans service organizations urged Congress to change the word “Armistice” to “Veterans.” Congress approved this change and on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor all American veterans, wherever and whenever they had served.
In 1968 the Uniforms Holiday Bill attempted to move Veterans Day to the fourth Monday of October. The bill took effect in 1971. Many states and veteran service organizations disagreed with this decision and continued to hold Veterans Day activities on November 11th. In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97, which stated that Veterans Day would again be observed on November 11th from 1978 onwards.
Richmond Area Veterans Day Observances
The American Legion 11th District and the Virginia War Memorial will hold a Veterans Day Ceremony at 10:00 a.m. on November 11th at the Virginia War Memorial (621 S. Belvidere Street, Richmond). Governor Terry McAuliffe is scheduled to be the guest speaker. For more information, you may contact Robert Paylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 804-786-2060.
Colonial Heights American Legion Post 284 will be holding a Veterans Day observance at 11:00 a.m. on 11 November at the War Memorial on the Boulevard (between Lee and Lafayette Avenues). Parking is available behind the Court House. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be conducted in the Post Home. There will be a reception following the ceremony at the Post Home at 505 Springdale Avenue, Colonial Heights. For more information, you may contact the Post Adjutant at email@example.com or 804-526-4167 (Amin).
The Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia will sponsor a Veterans Day ceremony at 2:00 p.m. on 11 November at the Chesterfield County Historic 1917 Courthouse Green at 10011 Iron Bridge Road. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be held in the Chesterfield County Public Meeting Room. For more information, call 796-7156 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hanover Veterans Committee sponsors a Veterans Day ceremony at the Hanover Wayside Park in (8225 Hanover Wayside Rd.) at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, 11 November 2016. Congressman Rob Wittman is scheduled to be the guest speaker.
Other Observances Throughout The State
This document includes information on observances in Arlington, Alexandria, Manassas, Springfield, D.C., Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, Newport News, Staunton, Harrisonburg, Bedford, Roanoke, and Wytheville.
Below are a couple of links to free offers and discounts related to Veterans Day. You should verify that the local vendor honors the corporate offer.
Click here for a site showing Veterans Day Freebies & Discounts.
Click here for a list of Veterans Day Free Meals.
The GRTC Transit System is also providing free transportation service on any of their routes on Veterans Day to all veterans with proof of military service. Drivers will accept virtually all forms of proof. For more information click here.
In closing, you can contact me at my district office by emailing email@example.com or by calling 804-526-5135, by US mail – PO Box 1205, Colonial Heights, VA 23834 – or by stopping by my Colonial Heights office at 250B East Ellerslie Avenue. I appreciate your views on legislation that will help me do a better job for the people I represent.
Please visit my Facebook page and my Twitter page. These pages, along with my website, have information/links to the 2016 General Assembly Session to include my 44 pieces of legislation, visitors’ photos, my legislative survey, videos of floor remarks, and related topics.