By Carrie Wilkens, RHUMC Office Communications Coordinator
On Sunday, Nov. 12, River Hills UMC will celebrate our members who are military veterans. The Welcoming Committee will host veterans, their families, and all members/guests during the coffee hour between worship services. In the past, many members have supplied us with interesting photos of their service time. If you have not provided the church office with one in the past, we invite you to email one to Carrie at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a hard copy in the church office for us to scan and keep on record.
Veterans Day, sometimes confused with Memorial Day and formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, on Nov. 11, 1918. With legislation passed in 1938, Nov. 11 was “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.’” This new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.
In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American war veterans.
On June 29, 1968, the Uniform Holiday Bill was signed and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays which included Veterans Day. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971.
On Sept. 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed the Public Law returning the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Veterans Day continues to be observed on Nov. 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The return of the observance of Veterans Day to this date 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.