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Veterans Day

 A veteran is a person who has served and is no longer serving in the armed forces. 


Veterans Day honors all the veterans who have served the country in war or peace - dead or alive- although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.

Veterans day was originally called Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I. World War I officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. However, the fighting ended about seven months before that when the Allies and Germany put into effect an armistice on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason November 11, 1918, was largely considered the end of “the war to end all wars” and dubbed Armistice Day. In 1926, Congress officially recognized it as the end of the war, and in 1938, it became an official holiday, primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I. But then World War II and the Korean War happened, so on June 1, 1954 at the urging of veterans service organizations, Congress amended the commemoration yet again by changing the word “armistice” to “veterans” so the day would honor American veterans of all wars. Veterans Day also came to celebrate all those veterans who served whether it was during a time of war or peace. 


So this Veterans Day say, “Thank You” to any and all the veterans that you know. They agreed and volunteered to put their life on the line for our freedom, the least we can do is say, “Thank You.”

Thanksgiving

 In 1620, when a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England caring 102 passengers arrived at Massachusetts Bay, the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth. Throughout the first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy, and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English. Several days later he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers, and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe. 


In November 1621, after the pilgrims first corn harvest proved successful, Governor Willam Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”. The festival lasted for three days. 


In 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the national government of the United States; in it, he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the happy conclusion of the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution. His successors John Adams and James Madison also designated days of thanks during their presidencies. 

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln, at the height of the Civil War, made a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widow, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retain sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November. 


In many American household, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious significance; instead, it now centers on cooling, giving thanks, and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends, including foods such as turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Volunteering is a common Thanksgiving Day activity, and communities often hold food drives and host free dinners for the less fortunate.