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COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
By
Robert Namer
Voice Of America
©2020 All rights reserved
November 11, 2020

TODAY IS Veterans day.  IN 1921, AN UNKNOWN WORLD WAR I AMERICAN SOLDIER WAS BURIED IN ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY.  THIS SITE BECAME THE FOCAL POINT OF REVERENCE FOR AMERICA'S VETERANS.  SIMILAR CEREMONIES OCCURRED IN ENGLAND AND FRANCE, WHERE AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER WAS BURIED IN EACH NATION'S HIGHEST PLACE OF HONOR (IN ENGLAND, WESTMINSTER ABBEY; IN FRANCE, THE ARC de TRIOMPHE).  THESE MEMORIAL GESTURES ALL TOOK PLACE ON NOVEMBER 11, GIVING UNIVERSAL RECOGNITION TO THE CELEBRATED ENDING OF WORLD WAR I FIGHTING AT 11A.M., NOVEMBER 11, 1918.  THE DAY BECAME KNOWN AS "ARMISTICE DAY."

     ARMISTICE DAY OFFICIALLY RECEIVED ITS NAME IN AMERICA IN 1926 THROUGH A CONGRESSIONAL RESOLUTION.  IT BECAME A NATIONAL HOLIDAY 12 YEARS LATER BY SIMILAR CONGRESSIONAL ACTION.  TO PAY TRIBUTE TO THOSE WHO HAD SERVED IN ALL WARS, ARMISTICE DAY CHANGED TO Veterans day IN 1954.

     THE FOCAL POINT FOR OFFICIAL, NATIONAL CEREMONIES FOR Veterans day CONTINUES TO BE THE MEMORIAL AMPHITHEATER BUILT AROUND THE TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS.  AT 11A.M. ON NOVEMBER 11, A COMBINED COLOR GUARD REPRESENTING ALL MILITARY SERVICES EXECUTES "PRESENT ARMS" AT THE TOMB.

     BECAUSE THE NATION'S TRIBUTE TO ITS WAR DEAD IS SYMBOLIZED BY THE LAYING OF A PRESIDENTIAL WREATH AND THE PLAYING OF "TAPS", MANY CONFUSE Veterans day WITH MEMORIAL DAY.  MEMORIAL DAY SPECIFICALLY HONORS THOSE WHO MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE, WHILE Veterans day HONORS ALL VETERANS WHO FOUGHT FOR THIS COUNTRY.  THANK YOU AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

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