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Here it is; the declaration signed in 1954, expanding the traditional November 11 Armistice Day remembrance of our veterans to "pay appropriate homage to the veterans of all its wars who have contributed so much to the preservation of this Nation..."  All veterans, regardless of race, religion or politics.  This honoring of the men and women who risked their lives, whether willingly or by conscription, in service of their country, had no caveats.  

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

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Whereas it has long been our customs to commemorate November 11, the anniversary of the ending of World War I, by paying tribute to the heroes of that tragic struggle and by rededicating ourselves to the cause of peace; and Whereas in the intervening years, the United States has been involved in two other great military conflicts, which have added millions of veterans living and dead to the honor rolls of this Nation; and

Whereas the Congress passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926 (44 Stat. 1982), calling for the observance of November 11 with appropriate ceremonies, and later provided in an act approved May 13, 1938 (52 Stat. 351) , that the eleventh of November should be a legal holiday and should be known as Armistice Day; and

Whereas, in order to expand the significance of that commemoration and in order that a grateful Nation might pay appropriate homage to the veterans of all its wars who have contributed so much to the preservation of this Nation, the Congress, by an act approved June 1, 1954 (68 Stat. 168), changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day:

Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America , do hereby call upon all of our citizens to observe Thursday, November 11, 1954 , as Veterans Day. On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.

I also direct the appropriate officials of the Government to arrange for the display of the flag of the United States on all public buildings on Veterans Day.

In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.

Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and cause the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this eighth day of October in the Year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-ninth.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

But attacks have been made upon the service of these men and women by men and women who are not veterans.  And the very same government officials who were not veterans dared to harshly judge the performance of those who were.  And every yearly ceremony honoring veterans has added more names to the list of veterans whose service was dishonored.  There was Senator John McCain whose military record had to be disparaged by his political opponent George W. Bush in the 2000 election.  There was Max Cleland, a disabled veteran of the VietNam war, whose military service was disparaged by the Republican party members trying to defeat his Senate candidacy.  And there was Senator John Kerry, who required a whole organization to be created to "swiftboat" his Viet Nam service.

And these were political moves and can be expected from those who prefer winning and who do not really honor veterans.  These are the people who pay lip service to "supporting the troops" while behind closed doors cutting VA funding; who provide state of the art medical treatment to a president and vice president who are not veterans while housing wounded veterans in deplorable and unsafe conditions out of sight and out of their thoughts.

And like a malignancy, this "support the troops" mentality that doesn’t require any support for those troops after they become veterans reached a new low yesterday, November 11, 2007.  It is no longer a holiday honoring the Veterans.  It now contains a litmus test for veterans and divides those who support a political viewpoint of a particular party from those who exercise their Amendment I right to speak out when they believe that political viewpoint is wrong. They are all still veterans; just second class veterans and thus not entitled to the same honor given to the "politically correct" veterans.

All across the United States, groups like Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace and Military Families to Speak Out were banned from the Veterans Day celebrations with these words:  Your organization of veterans does not "represent the spirit of the parade."  So what is the "spirit of the parade"?  Honoring the service of veterans, no matter what war or what branch they served in?  Or is the "spirit of the parade" to represent the political opinions of a chief executive who lied to Congress and these veterans about why the would be invading Iraq?

But the ban on certain veterans comes down to this.  These veterans groups were denied participation because the people who gave out the permits did not like their political views.  It was a tempest in a teapot to support an unpopular war continued by an unpopular leader.  They can not say that, "This is not a political event, this is a time to say thanks to all the veterans" as Long beach City Councilman Val Learch did, while that Council denied participation of veterans groups based on political ideology.

Nothing makes the American Legion more worthy of participation in that parade than Veterans for Peace.  Didn’t they all want the same thing?  Isn’t that what all those veterans from World War II, Korean, and VietNam really wanted?    To survive, to go home to their families, to have Peace?  As veteran Jason Lemieux told the Long Beach City Council,

I hope that the city council and the Mayor will work to overturn this decision and give Iraq Veterans Against the war AND Veterans for Peace AND Military Families to Speak Out which are two organizations which we work very closely with, the permission to participate in Long Beach veterans Day Parade because if you truly want to support this nations Veterans and their patriotic service you don’t have the option of supporting only the ones that you like.

November 11 was chosen as Armistice Day to celebrate the formal ending of that "war to end all wars" at the 11th hour of the 11th month of 1918.  November 11 was a day honoring all the veterans of all those nations who fought.  It isn’t just our holiday, it is celebrated by many countries and there is something very wrong with segregating this nation’s veterans by their political views and it destroys the spirit of that honor.  What must those who share our November commemoration think of this!

Originally posted to liberty76 on Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 10:31 AM PST.

Poll

Did the cities have a right to decide which veterans to include in their commemorative events?

53%14 votes
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| 26 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Amen brother! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shigeru

    Edwards-Richardson 2008

    by TekBoss on Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 10:36:11 AM PST

  •  Owed more (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, shigeru

    Since my "Kossack Konversion" (wonder if that reads as trite as it looks) the bulk of my limited postings have been on the subject of this damned war and the attendant treatment of our military.

    Though my fighting days are behind me - the idea of a group of wide-assed chair monkeys passing rules against the "type" of veterans allowed to march proudly in the Day they all EARNED makes my blood boil enough to do some serious hoppin' and poppin'...

    Doesn't matter who they vote for now or what their stance is on this war.  If they served with honor, AND LISTEN CAREFULLY HERE, YOU ODIOUS, OBNOXIOUS AND OBSCENE NEO-CON CHICKEN HAWKS - then it is by God and All His Majesty THEIR DAMNED PARADE!!!

    •  Couldn't agree more (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Icon1010

      If veterans can't disagree with their government then what were they fighting for?  To glorify a "war president" who didn't have the courage to fight when he had a chance?

      •  That having been said (0+ / 0-)

        Avoiding military combat service makes Bushie the Junior remarkable not in the least.  Yet another big-talking little-acting politician who sits on his rapidly spreading ass while sending us hither and yon on idiotic military operations we didn't have the money or family connections to get out of.  Unfortunately, that sort of commodity is not in short supply around these parts.

        The difference between us is that I would still go.  Unless I had something really important to do, like clearing brush out of my ranch fenceline.

  •  I'm 100% service-connected disabled Veteran (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shigeru

    and I woke up on Veterans day having my gas and lights cut off by LOUISVILLE GAS AND ELECTRIC for a $78 bill. I told the guy I would pay him, that I had a three month supply of insulin to keep cold, and that I need electricity for a machine I use to breath. I was told that being a Vet made no difference. I told him "That's pretty obvious". The Veteran means nothing to Americans overall.

    We have nothing to fear but fear itself. America rejects Bush. The GOP has crashed. American fascism is mortally wounded.

    by JamesBrown4ever on Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 11:47:08 AM PST

    •  In my family (0+ / 0-)

      We have a World War II vet who was stationed in Hiroshema days after the bombing and who was exposed to high levels of radiation (and remembers that many of his company became so ill that they had to be sent home) who had his pension cut to $5 a month.

      We also have a Korean war vet who lost the use of his right hand and who had to fight to keep his pension in the 1980s.  

      We have a Viet Nam vet who is so ill from Agent Orange exposure that he rarely leaves his home yet was told that there was no "proof" that his illness was a war related injury.

      Bureaucratic jobs go to those who share GWB's ideology.  And we all know that he has no sympathy for the people of New Orleans, for sick children or for vets who are no longer useful.

  •  Veterans Day has never really been for veterans (0+ / 0-)

    It was created to make the non-veteran bulk of the population feel like they were doing something to honor veterans.

    If people really wanted to do something for veterans they would increase current benefits and salaries for all enlisted people and junior officers who served in a combat zone by 200%. In addition they would immediately make all enlisted and junior officer combat zone veterans eligible for enhanced medical care, full early retirement and guaranteed pension income at least equal to that received by our 3 term congress people.

    "Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions." U.S.Grant

    by shigeru on Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 12:24:30 PM PST

    •  I agree but we can't even get Congress (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shigeru

      to override the SCHIP veto that helps sick children.  This government sees "supporting the troops" as making sure they have enough guns and ammunition to keep the green zone safe for the VIPs visits and photo ops for the people back home.

      •  Yeah I know. (0+ / 0-)

        Those dweebs and dickweeds are a hopeless lot. However, they all make sure that they are well covered and protected, don't they?

        "Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions." U.S.Grant

        by shigeru on Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 06:35:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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