Veterans Day symbolizes many things to both the United States and several other nations of the world. Its observance and significance arises from the signing of the Armistice between the Allied forces of World War I and Germany in France in 1918. The signing called for the end of hostilities on the Western Front and took effect at eleven o’clock-“the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”. The date became a national holiday both in the U.S. and across the globe and is still referred to as Remembrance Day in many nations.
On June 4, 1926, the United States Congress adopted a resolution requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue annual proclamations calling for the observance of November 11th with appropriate ceremonies and the day became a legal holiday. In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama lobbied to expand the idea of Armistice Day to include all veterans and not just those who died in World War I. General Dwight Eisenhower supported the idea of a National Veterans Day.
Today, communities across America honor the service and sacrifice of our military servicemen, women and other military personnel on Veterans Day, November 11th. Carrot-Top is proud to assist our customers by providing American flags, US State flags and other patriotic products. Many of our items allow Americans to express their full gratitude in the manner that best honors our veterans.
Below is one an example of how one of our customers, Kingston High School in Kingston, Arkansas, chose to express their community’s reverence for those who served our nation in the past and those who currently strive to keep our nation and its citizens safe.
November 11, 2015 was bright and beautiful as the students and faculty of Kingston Schools gathered outside of the high school building. Seated before them were the guests of honor that morning: local veterans who represented each branch of the military and conflicts from Korea to the post 9/11 era. They gathered on that fall morning to raise the first flag on the school’s new flagpole, and to dedicate that flagpole to all the members of the Kingston community who had so faithfully served their country and those who are currently serving.
The dedication ceremony was the culmination of a project sponsored and carried out by the Kingston Student Council, under the guidance and leadership of Mrs. Ruby Davidson. When members of the American Legion heard that the students had chosen to use the money they had worked so hard for to purchase a flagpole for the school, they were greatly touched. It was an honor for the local veterans and the students to work together to honor such an important occasion, and such an important group of men and women.
“Today, people throughout the country will gather to remember, to honor, and to pay gratitude to those who have served our country.” Those were the words of Ryan Fancher, Student Council, to remind all those in attendance of the importance of the day. His opening remarks were followed by the dedication ceremony, under the leadership of Mr. Tom Little (U.S. Army, Ret.) and members of the local American Legion. As the color guard raised the flag for the first time it snapped in the breeze, its colors bright against a clear blue sky. The flag presentation was followed by the singing of the National Anthem, with the voices of students and community members ringing out together. Then the solemn event of reading out the names of the local community’s fallen veterans, occurred along with a balloon release in their honor.
As a fitting end to the event for a small, rural community, Student Council member Dalton Summers read Johnny Cash’s lyrics to “Ragged Old Flag,” which read in part:
So we raise her up every morning, we take her down every night
We don’t let her touch the ground and we fold her up right.
On second thought, I do like to brag,
‘Cause I’m mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag.
- Mandy Kilbourn, Kingston High School, November 11, 2015
On the first Armistice Day, November 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson stated the following:
"The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interests of men. To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with - solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations."
- President Woodrow Wilson
Happy Veterans Day to America’s service men and women wherever you are. Thank you for your service.