Veterans program Monday in city

Warren County veterans will commemorate Veterans Day Monday at 11 a.m. at General Joseph Warren Park in Warren.

State Sen. Scott Hutchinson will be the keynote speaker .

Past National AMVETS Commander Gary Fry said Veterans Day is important to, “remember these men and women made the ultimate sacrifice. It’s important that we remember that and honor these people.”

Veterans Day originated when World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles in France. Fighting in WWI had ended seven months earlier with an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. For that reason, Nov. 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of, “the war to end all wars.”

President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day in November 1919.

“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 proclamation read.

Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926.

Nov. 11 was named as a legal holiday in May 1938, “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’,” according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

While Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor WWI veterans, in 1954 veterans service organizations urged Congress to amend the 1938 law to change “Armistice” to “Veterans”. The change was approved on June 1, 1954 and Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Veterans Day was changed starting in 1968 with the Uniform Holiday Bill passed to ensure three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays.

The three-day weekends intended to encourage travel, recreational activities and the economy were ignored by many states and they continued to celebrate Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Columbus Day on their original dates.

President Gerald R. Ford signed a law that returned Veterans Day to Nov. 11, no matter what day of the week it falls on, in 1975.