With Veteran’s Day just around the corner, many Americans will be taking part in the various remembrance services, activities, and parades designed to honor those who have served our country and those who continue to do so.
Veteran’s Day has its roots in World War I. Although the war officially ended on June 28, 1919, when the Treaty of Versailles was signed in France, the fighting had actually stopped when an armistice went into effect during the eleventh month on the eleventh day and at the eleventh hour. Because of this, November 11 is the day that Americans traditionally celebrate our veterans.
Although President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the day to be Armistice Day in November of 1919, it was not recognized as a legal holiday until May 13, 1938. Still known as Armistice Day at the time, the day later became recognized as Veteran’s Day on June 1, 1954, when the 83rd Congress declared that the day should celebrate veterans of all wars and not just World War I.
Since that time, Veteran’s Day continues to be celebrated on November 11 of each year, regardless of the day of the week that it falls. The day is a celebration of the country’s love and respect for its veterans and their willingness to serve America and sacrifice their lives in the name of freedom for all.
Veterans Day in Jacksonville
In the Jacksonville area, you might want to consider visiting the Jacksonville Memorial Park or the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Wall to pay your respects and to recognize the importance of the day.
As the third oldest park in the city, Jacksonville Memorial Park is located on the north bank of the St. Johns River and boasts sweeping views of the water. Originally commissioned to honor the 1,200 Floridians who lost their lives fighting in World War I, the park is highlighted by two bronze eagle statues symbolizing the battle for freedom.
The iconic Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Wall proudly displays the names of over 1,500 local military personnel lost in battle dating back to World War I and continuing all the way to current times. Conveniently located in downtown Jacksonville, this memorial honors all six service branches of the military. The beautifully crafted black granite stretches 65 feet, delivering a powerful and somber reminder of American sacrifice.
However you choose to spend your Veteran’s Day, be sure to take the time to honor and remember those who paid the ultimate price for the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy every day as American citizens.