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How Veterans Day Came to Be

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 Nicole Erwin WKMS

We set aside this month surrounding Veterans Day to hold observances around the country to honor and thank those whose service and sacrifice represent the very best of America.

Q. Which is the correct spelling of Veterans Day? We can also look ahead to next year on November 11 - and all the Veterans Days that follow - to honor those who serve in our armed forces in both peacetime and in war. Although estimates vary, roughly 50 million people lost their lives in World War II, making it the largest and most destructive war of all time.

It began in 1919 as Armistice Day, marking the end of hostilities on November 11, 1918, at the close of World War I - "the war to end all wars".

The "Salute our Heroes" festival is taking place this Saturday in downtown Topeka, and it's an opportunity to "join hands in the common purpose" and support local veterans.

Former MTV personality Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi of Jersey Shore fame posted a simple "Pray, Thank, Remember Veterans Day" image on her Instagram page.

World War I was often referred to as the "war to end all wars", and World War II proved how naïve that declaration was. A war that had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation's history. The bill was meant to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. "And for that, there are no words to express our gratitude", Florence Veterans Day Parade organizers said. This led to the "Veterans Day Proclamation" issued by President Dwight D. Eisenhower four months later: "In order to ensure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common objective". The first Veterans Day under the new law was Monday, October 25, 1971; confusion ensued, as many states disapproved of this change, and continued to observe the holiday on its original date. So far, 73 names have been collected of those who served in Vietnam, and another 35 veterans who served in support services during the war.

DWTS host Tom Bergeron also took part, posting a link to the USO, providing fans with a way to give back to veterans.

Tributes and treats for veterans will be available at the Veteran's Memorial Park on Bay Street at the end of the parade. The moment usually begins at 11 a.m. and continues for two minutes in honor of deceased veterans. We have plenty of organizations locally that serve veterans, such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETS and others.

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