"And I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land.
God bless the U.S.A."
- Lee Greenwood, "God Bless the U.S.A."
History of Veterans Day
Veterans Day officially became a national holiday after the end of World War I between the Allies (US, France, British Empire, and Russia) and Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Ottoman Empire).
"In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I, then known as 'the Great War.'"
- HISTORY.COM Editors
On June 28, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed, marking the official end of World War I. Few months later in November, 28th President Woodrow Wilson marked November 11th as the celebration of Armistice Day.
On June 4, 1926, Armistice Day, according to Congress, should be celebrated with thanksgiving and prayer to "perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations."
After World War II, the 83rd Congress sticked the word "Armistice," and replaced it with "Veterans" after the veterans' service organizations requested to rename the Federal holiday. 34th President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the legislation on June 1, 1954, renaming the holiday we know today as, "Veterans Day."
ADDRESS TO FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN
The White House, November 11, 1919.
"A year ago today our enemies laid down their arms in accordance with an armistice which rendered them impotent to renew hostilities, and gave to the world an assured opportunity to reconstruct its shattered order and to work out in peace a new and juster set of international relations. The soldiers and people of the European Allies had fought and endured for more than four years to uphold the barrier of civilization against the aggressions of armed force. We ourselves had been in the conflict something more than a year and a half.
With splendid forgetfulness of mere personal concerns, we remodeled our industries, concentrated our financial resources, increased our agricultural output, and assembled a great army, so that at the last our power was a decisive factor in the victory. We were able to bring the vast resources, material and moral, of a great and free people to the assistance of our associates in Europe who had suffered and sacrificed without limit in the cause for which we fought.
Out of this victory there arose new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert. The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interests of men.
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 nations."
- Woodrow Wilson, 1919
The Wissahickon Valley World War I Veterans
189 Silver Stars/6 Gold Stars- Ambler
61 Silver Stars/2 Gold Stars- Lower Gwynedd
41 Silver Stars/3 Gold Stars- Whitpain
TOTAL Silver Stars: 291
TOTAL Gold Stars: 11
Let's not forget the nurses who took care of the soldiers during World War I!
Read about the nurses during World War I here!
Ida E. Fretz (1880-1944) (Ambler)
Anna Dean Murphy (1893-1989) (Whitpain)
"Veterans Day 2020." HISTORY. Last modified October 9, 2020. https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/history-of-veterans-day.
"Wissahickon Valley Public Library's Ambler Gazette Collection." POWER Library: Pennsylvania's Electronic Library. Accessed October 26, 2020. http://digitalcollections.powerlibrary.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/wivp-gazett.
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