Monday, November 11, 2013

Holidays for November 11th 2013

Veterans Day

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "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 original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and
Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 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.
An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first "Veterans Day Proclamation"which stated: "In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible."

On that same day, President Eisenhower sent a letter to the Honorable Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans' Affairs (VA), designating him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.

In 1958, the White House advised VA's General Counsel that the 1954 designation of the VA Administrator as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee applied to all subsequent VA Administrators. Since March 1989 when VA was elevated to a cabinet level department, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has served as the committee's chairman.

The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended 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. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. 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 October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.

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.

Death/Duty Day

Death/Duty Day honors all soldiers who died in war. Nov. 11, 1918, was the day of the World War I Armistice. The Allied and Central Powers signed an agreement to end hostilities at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month.

World Origami Day

Origami is more than just a way to celebrate intricate paper folding: it's a way to celebrate World Peace Memorial Day and to commemorate the end of World War I, according to the Nippon Origami Association. Origami was "originally used in religious ceremonies, and later as a decorative element in other rituals, origami gradually filtered down to the messes the spread in the use of the paper," according to the NAO. Origami is not just limited to folding, you can also "cut, paste and paint Origami."

National Sundae Day

It’s National Sundae Day! There are three cities in the United States that all claim to be the birthplace of the sundae, but the true origin of this dessert is unknown.

There are hundreds of different variations of the original ice cream sundae, all with different ice cream flavors and toppings. Did you know that the most expensive sundae on record sold for $1,000? It had five scoops of rich vanilla ice cream, edible gold leafs, candied fruit, expensive chocolate, and was served in a crystal goblet with a golden spoon.

To celebrate National Sundae Day, throw an ice cream sundae party for you and your friends. Get a few gallons of your favorite ice cream flavors and a selection of toppings, and enjoy!

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognised as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month," in accordance with the Armistice, signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. ("At the 11th hour" refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am) World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.

The day was specifically dedicated by King George V on 7 November 1919 as a day of remembrance for members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. This was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey to Wellesley Tudor Pole, who established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.

The Initial or Very First Armistice Day was held at Buckingham Palace commencing with King George V hosting a "Banquet in Honour of The President of the French Republic" during the evening hours of November 10, 1919. The First Official Armistice Day was subsequently held on the Grounds of Buckingham Palace on the Morning of November 11, 1919. This would set the trend for a day of Remembrance for decades to come.

The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem "In Flanders Fields". These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.

Air Day

If you're looking for something to do today then breathe deep because it's Air Day!

OK, maybe it has something to do with air travel... ;)

But, let's get right into celebrating Air Day!

Why is this a holiday?
Well, this day got its start back in 1929 thanks to Governor Lawrence Judd, of Hawaii, when the first commercial air service started at John Rodgers Airport. This was the beginning of flights between the Hawaiian Islands and the start of Inter-Island Airways. Traveling times just got a whole lot shorter, as things were taken to the air! And even if you don't live in Hawaii, I'm sure when you travel there you'll appreciate being able to fly from island to island.

John Rodgers Airport was eventually renamed Honolulu International Airport, but they actually flew over 10,000 passengers in their first full year of service. Not too bad for planes that only had 8 seats on them! Hey, it was 1930... give them a break. But to start off the first Air Day, there were two Sikorsky S-38 airplanes named Hawaii and Maui, after the islands, which were escorted by 49 military planes on their first flight.

They flew to Hilo on the Big Island, but had to make a stop at the Ma'alaea Field in Maui first. And that took them about 3 hours, including the stop, since they were only going about 110 miles per hour. But hey, I bet that beats traveling by boat! Oh, you've never heard of this mysterious "Inter-Island Airways"? Well, that's because it's called Hawaiian Airlines now!

When's the last time you flew between the Hawaiian Islands?

So, how can you celebrate today?
Well, it might be a little late for you to schedule a flight to Hawaii tonight, but you can always plan a trip there today! I mean, what better way to celebrate their air travel than to get to use it, right? Of course, that means you'll have to get a flight from island to island, once you're there, to really take advantage of the celebration. But I'm sure you'll love every minute of getting to see those islands from up in the air.

And if you can't afford to go to Hawaii then why don't you just watch a documentary on the Hawaiian Islands? I mean, you have to figure out what's so special about Hawaii someday, right? Well, are you into nature, animals or perhaps even the history of the islands? Well then, I'm sure there are a handful of documentaries you can watch to fulfill your Hawaiian desires!

But what if it's the airplanes that interest you? Well, then why don't you start by looking into what a Sikorsky S-38 plane even looks like? I don't know what they look like... actually I just looked it up and they look pretty cool! It appears they can land on water and land, but you can dig into the history of planes as deep as you like today. Because today is all about being up in the air, with no fear of falling anytime soon.

Have a great day and think island thoughts!