In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” that ended the “war to end all wars,” calling it Armistice Day. President Eisenhower changed the name to Veterans Day in 1954, and after celebrating the day on the fourth Monday in October (to give folks a three day weekend), Michigan's own President Ford returned Veterans Day to its original, historically significant date of November 11. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, there are about 19 million veterans age 18 and older in the United States, with about 13 million age 50 and older. Recent legislation signed into law is The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, which expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for veterans with toxic exposures.
I was in ROTC, then served in the U.S. Army from 1982 until 1987. My brother was in from 1988 to 1993, and many of my relatives are veterans. I am grateful for the soldiers and families I met and served with, and every November 11, I make sure to touch base with veterans in my life to acknowledge them and this day. I continue to feel solidarity with anyone who served, and I really do thank you for your service.
Here are just a few of the ways to honor and celebrate our veterans in Michigan:
You can find more resources at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.