BHS remembers Veteran's Day
By S. G. Barnes
Last Thursday marked the 83rd anniversary of Veterans Day. The holiday is often one that sneaks up on students at BHS and many across the nation, and the history of it is largely unknown.
“I know we put out flags to honor people who served our country,” said freshman Noah Rashid. “But beyond that I really don’t know.”
It is a day to recognize and appreciate the people that have served their country through military service, but it did not start out that way.
“I’m fairly sure it started after World War I,” said junior Lilian Perez.
On June 28, 1919 the Treaty of Versailles was signed and ratified, signaling the end of what people of the time knew as the Great War. Yet more than seven months before this, active fighting ceased on November 11, 1918. This was known as an armistice, and the following November President Woodrow Wilson recognized November 11 as Armistice Day, a day to celebrate the end of the war to end all wars.
In 1926, Nov.11 was formally recognized as the end of the first world war and, “the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals,” according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Armistice Day was then observed as a federal holiday beginning in 1938 under President Franklin Roosevelt.
It was known as Armistice Day until 1954, when after the second world war had been fought and the Korean War was in full procession many other veterans wished to be recognized. The name was then amended to Veterans Day, which it is known as to this day.
Much like several federal holidays, for a number of years Veterans Day was observed on a Monday in order to ensure a three day weekend for federal employees. This brought much confusion, however, when it was celebrated on Monday, October 25 1971, more than two weeks from its original date.
Four years later, President Gerald Ford amended the holiday so it would be celebrated on November 11 regardless of what day of the week it fell upon. That is how the holiday remains today.
Veterans Day is an important holiday for all members of the Bettendorf community, but especially important to those that have a family connection or even a parent that is currently or has served. Junior Cooper Wood’s father has served in the Army for 16 years.
“Veterans Day is like a second father’s day to me,” said Wood. “I really wish I could’ve spent the day celebrating with him.”
For past and present service, this year Bettendorf would like to thank the veterans of the school and community who have served our country.
Thank you to Larry Busch, Dan Milburn, and Diana Williams for their service to the US Army. Thank you to Robbie Furne, Jim Kiel, and Annette Zelnio for their service to the US Marines. And thank you to John Staber for his service to the US Air Force. The Bettendorf High School Publications Team thanks you for your service to the United States.
S. G. Barnes is a junior. This is his second year
as a staff writer for The Growl.