View Full Version : Veterans Day 2010, the history and Obama's words to future veterans serving in Korea

11-11-2010, 11:36 AM
Veterans Day 2010, the history and Obama's words to future veterans serving in Korea
November 11, 2010 | 6:48 am

a field of red Poppies

Veterans Day didn't start out that way.

Originally, which was 91 years ago, it was called Armistice Day to mark the official cessation of hostilities in World War I, a.k.a. the Great War until that time. That ceasefire came on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. (See photo below of U.S. troops in France waiting out literally the last two minutes of World War I.)

The actual peace treaty, the Treaty of Versailles, wasn't signed until the following June 28. But that ensuing first fall of peace, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 Armistice Day, a time for prayer, thanksgiving and appreciation for the sacrifices of those lost. Parades and civic observances were involved, but normal business was to cease only for a few minutes around the armistice time.

Nineteen years later Congress turned Nov. 11 into a federal holiday, primarily to....
...honor veterans of the misnamed War to End All Wars. And then in 1954, following the end of the Korean War and nine years after the globe's greatest mobilization of military forces for World War II, the word "veterans" was substituted for "armistice" in the holiday legislation.

Not coincidentally, President Obama, fresh from an overnight stop in his childhood homeland of Indonesia, spoke (full text, as usual, below) to about 1,400 American troops and guests in Korea. He talked about the enduring U.S. and Korean military and political alliance -- never mind the trouble getting an enhanced bilateral trade agreement.

As Sen. John McCain, himself a veteran, awkwardly noted during the 2008 presidential campaign, the U.S. continues to maintain about 28,000 troops on that divided peninsula. In fact, nearly 60 years after fighting ceased in that lumpy land, there still is no formal peace treaty.

LA Times (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/11/veterans-day-obama-korea.html)