Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 11 on Veterans' Day

Hello everyone! Due to finals prep and mental fatigue, I've been lax (again) at posting. Still, I think today's an important day so here's a quick post!

Today is November 11th, a very important day for anime fans. Obviously because it is day we honor the prestigious agent of MI6 (or the British Secret Intelligence Service if you prefer the proper terms) from Darker Than Black, November 11!

A remarkable contractor using the ability to freeze in battle, he-


November 11: Hold on there. I think you're missing something important.

Richard J.: Hmm? What are you talking about? Not second-hand smoke again.

November 11: Well it does have 680 to 823 nanograms of carcinogens but let's set that aside for a moment. Today is Veterans' Day, which is at least as important as honoring me.

Richard J.: You have a point. Let me try this again.


Today is November 11th, Veterans' Day! Today is a day used to honor military veterans, those who live and those who have fallen alike who have served this country and so many others as well. Originally, Veterans' Day was called Armistice Day and was meant to celebrate the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I and to honor the service of fallen military members who's efforts made that cessation of war possible.

President Woodrow Wilson first declared the federal holiday in 1919 and the 1926 Congress passed a resolution requesting President Calvin Coolidge issue another proclamation to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies. Congress enjoyed themselves so much, they passed an act in 1938 to make every November 11 a legal holiday "dedicated to the cause of world peace." (It went from clearly honoring soldiers to generically honoring world peace just before the world went crazy again. Perhaps they were being sarcastic?)

Fast forward to the year 1953 and a Kansas show store owner by name of Alfred King began a quest to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans. Well, after WWII it probably seemed unfair to only honor WWI vets. It likely was mostly due to having a son who fought in WWII but it was much more than a personal dream.

Proving that ordinary an citizen working toward a goal can accomplish great things, King sought to expand the day to all veterans both alive and fallen and his efforts in his home of Emporia, Kansas got the attention of the Emporia Chamber of Commerce. They took up his cause (in large part due to 90% of Emporia merchants honoring the day plus the Board of Education) and in 1953 Emporia became the first town in America to celebrate Veterans' Day. With the aid of local congressional Representative Ed Rees, a bill for the holiday made the rounds in Congress. On May 26, 1954, the bill was signed into law, on June 1st it was amended to change "Armistice" to Veterans (only politicians could have forgotten that was a big part of King's effort in the first place) and October 8th, President Dwight Eisenhower officially changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day. (Officially there is no apostrophe but the common grammatical inclination is to add one.)

Incidentally, from 1971 to 1978, Veterans' Day was not necessarily celebrated on November 11th. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act moved the day to the fourth Monday of October (okay, I think they got a little too removed from the history there) but it was moved back after the obvious retaliation for ignoring the historical relevance of the date. Unfortunately, after the change back businesses, schools and local governments have begun to ignore the holiday and by extension the service and sacrifices of millions of veterans, 24.9 million approximately, in the United States. (I didn't get the day off from class and no one mentioned the holiday. Sad panda.)


So, I hope you'll take a moment after reading this post to be grateful for the service of a veteran. War is a horrible thing and no honorable warrior longs for it but when times of trouble have risen, when the fates of free people have been placed upon the shoulders of a brave few, soldiers have done their duty and those veterans of wars and conflicts past deserve our respect and gratitude. I may have opened with a bit of light-heartedness but I must say that no one can question my belief that the men and women who've given so much for so little long ago earned the right to my respect and thanks. I hope you'll join me in saluting our veterans.

November 11: I may not be American but I can't disagree with your sentiment at all.


Richard J.: Well, that's it for this post at Blog of A Heretical Dub Lover. I know it wasn't very anime-centric but do consider buying and watching Darker Than Black for November 11 while you take a moment to honor our veterans!

November 11: Oh and for information on second-hand smoke, you might want to try government websites. Governments are always trustworthy after all.

Richard J.: Really?

November 11: I'm only kidding.

Richard J.: So long everyone and thanks for all the posts!