Celebrate Veterans Day

Veterans Day is always celebrated on November 11th each year. This national holidays pays tribute to all American veterans-living or deceased, but especially gives thanks to veterans who are still living. Now many people confuse Veterans Day with Memorial Day. Memorial Day honors Americans who have died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle. Both are very important holidays and a reminder to us all to not take our freedoms for granted.

Veterans Day Facts

President Eisenhower changed the name of this holiday in 1954, from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. The Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress in 1968. This moved Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971. However, in 1975 President Ford moved Veterans Day back to November 11th. He did so because of hte importance of the date. November 11, 1919 was the first anniversary of World War 1. In Europe and Britain, on November 11th, they take two minutes for a moment of silence. There are approximately 23.2 million military veterans in the United States. 9.2 million are over the age of 65. 1.9 million are under the age of 35. 1.8 million are women. 6 million veterans served in peacetime. The VA health care system has 171 medical centers today. In 1930, they had 54.

President Eisenhower’s letter to Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs, designating him Chairman, Veterans Day National Committee

The White House Office October 8, 1954 Dear Mr. Higley: I have today signed a proclamation calling upon all of our citizens to observe Thursday, November 11, 1954 as Veterans Day. It is my earnest hope that all veterans, their organizations, and the entire citizenry will join hands to insure proper and widespread observance of this day. With the thought that it will be most helpful to coordinate the planning, I am suggesting the formation of a Veterans Day National Committee. In view of your great personal interest as well as your official responsibilities, I have designated you to serve as Chairman. You may include in the Committee membership such other persons as you desire to select and I am requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch to assist the Committee in its work in every way possible. I have every confidence that our Nation will respond wholeheartedly in the appropriate observance of Veterans Day, 1954. Sincerely, DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

There are National ceremonies commemorating Veterans  Day occur each year at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. At 11 AM on November 11th, a color guard representing all military services executes “Present Arms” at the tomb. Then the presidential wreath is laid upon the tomb. The bugler then plays taps. Americans should stop and remember the brave men and women who have risked their lives for their country each and every day. As Dwight Eisenhower said, “…it is well for us to pause, to acknowledge our debt to those who paid so large a share of freedom’s price. As we stand here in grateful remembrance of the veterans’ contributions we renew our conviction of individual responsibility to live in ways that support the eternal truths upon which our Nation is founded, and from which flows all its strength and its greatness.” The city of Gatlinburg has been hosting a Veterans Day celebration since 2000. The event is free and is held at the Ripley’s Aquarium.

Be sure to plan and attend if you will be vacationing in the Pigeon Forge area this November. As always, if you have any questions about any events that are going on in the area, be sure to ask one of our reservationists when you call to book your vacation condo. We look forward to speaking to you and hope to see you soon!

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