This week's column comes in the form of a history lesson wrapped in a huge tip of the hat to our veterans, who definitely deserve more respect and honor we could ever give them.
A lot of credit for this week's offering goes to Terri O'Byrne, our dilligent office manager here at The Weekly Vista, who actually sent me this compiled info with the idea that we all should be cognizant of Veterans Day -- and what it means to us as Americans -- every day of the year and not just every November 11.
So here we go.
According to History.com, "Veterans Day originated as 'Armistice Day' on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and November 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans -- living or dead -- but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime."
The date selected for Veterans Day, November 11, was selected to honor the "11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" of 1918 that signaled the end of World War I, known as Armistice Day.
Today, Veterans Day commemorates veterans of all wars.
Also from History.com: "In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
"In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, but in 1975 President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11, due to the important historical significance of the date."
O'Byrne, who is always looking for content that would be apreciated and enjoyed by our readers, is also a top-notch proof reader, and points out that the word "Veterans" in Veterans Day does not have an apostrophe when used as the day in name.
Here are some other facts according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:
• 18.2 million living veterans served during at least one war as of 2018.
• 9 percent of veterans are women.
• 7 million veterans served during the Vietnam War.
• 3 million veterans have served in support of the War on Terrorism.
• Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 325,000 were still alive as of 2020.
• 2 million veterans served during the Korean War.
• As of 2019, the top three states with the highest percentage of Veterans were Virginia, Wyoming, and Alaska.
Sunday I went looking for a photograph to run on the front page of today's edition. Naturally, with the edition coming out the day before Veterans Day, I ended up at the Veterans Wall of Honor here in Bella Vista. I was happy to see Cub Scout Troop 525 also visiting the memorial.
Cub Master Brett Bourquin said the troop always tries to make an educational visit to the wall the week of Veterans Day. Sunday they learned historical facts about the American flag. They also learned how to properly fold a flag and discussed the proper procedure for retiring a flag.
As I walked through the wall's displays with the scouts, observing how they soaked up the information relating to our nation's military history, I couldn't help but think I was walking among future veterans.
It was nice to see how they respected and honored the memorial and those veterans whose names are listed on its walls.
Respect and honor. Our veterans deserve all the respect and honor we can give them.
We here at The Weekly Vista would like to take this opportunity to salute and commemorate each and every Armed Forces veteran -- alive and deceased -- and to say "Thanks" to you and your families for your service.
Bennett Horne is the managing editor of The Weekly Vista. He can be reached via email at [email protected] Opinions expressed are those of the author.