Monday, November 11, 2013

With solemn pride and gratitude

Wash. Times (cropped)

Care of President Wilson, and by resolution of Congress:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples. (US gov.)

Now that's a proclamation.

Then care of history, President Eisenhower and subsequent Congressional acts:

Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. (ibid)

 Bottom-line: what are we now to do?

A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. (ibid)

Veterans Day has grown forward and outward, so how about backward and inward? Union Army Brigadier General Conrad Ferger Jackson and Union Army Brigadier General Thomas Algeo Rowley, Pittsburghers both, are each interred at Allegheny Cemetery in Lawrenceville. Westmoco native and U.S. Army Colonel Daniel Leasure saw action in battles ranging from Secessionville to Spotsylvania. Union Army Seargent Alexander Kelly of Saltsburg, Pa. would retire to Pittsburgh after the Battle of Chaffin's Farm and is interred at St. Peters Cemetery in Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar. And in Arlington Heights, on the rise beside Devlin Street and another Saint Peter's Cemetery there once stood a Civil War-era redoubt named for storied US naval Captain Robert Smalls.

The City of Pittsburgh Veterans Day Parade begins at 10:30 am at Grant and Liberty, proceeds down Liberty to Wood, and finishes at the Boulevard of the Allies.

Later at 4:00 pm, Point Park University hosts a screening of short documentary The Veterans Breakfast Club followed by a panel discussion.

KDKA has assembled a short list of opportunities to acknowledge service.

The Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania seems to be a well-situated resource for local veterans of recent war.

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