Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day Origin

 On November 7, 1918 Sergeant John Guess, Jr. died in Base Hospital 61, Ward 7 in Beaune, France. This was just four days before all hostilities of "The Great War" ended at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month - which would be generally regarded as the end of "the war to end all wars". 

The war's official end was with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 26, 1919. President Wilson would in November of that year proclaim November 11th as the first commemoration of Armistice Day, a day for Americans to reflect "with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory..." 

Sgt. John Guess, Jr.
AEF, 91st Division, Company H, 364th Infantry
Awarded Distinguished Service Cross
No. 2588 December 14, 1918

In 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the Veterans Day Proclamation that would insure that all veterans from all wars would be honored and remembered but it would take until October 25, 1971 for the first Veterans Day to be observed. Much confusion centered from this October date and in 1978 President Gerald R. Ford signed a law that returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to the original date of November 11.

"Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day. A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good." ~ From the United States Department of Veterans Affairs website
F. M. Guess, Sr. World War I
F. M. Guess, Jr. World War II

 "They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We shall remember them."

From The Ode - Lawrence Binyon, 1914


  1. They deserve to be honored, each and every one. I hate war but feel only admiration for those who fight. What would we do without them?

  2. Thanks for the correction notice, K. I agree with your comment, maybe if we put those who do the fighting in charge of policy things would be different.