November 11th is an important date in American History. That date is a federal holiday, but it wasn’t always recognized as a federal holiday. The date is significant because in 1918, it marked the end of fighting and hostilities between the Allied Nations and Germany.
The armistice, which was agreed upon by all countries involved in World War I combat, went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, in the year 1918. At 11:00 AM, on November 11th of that year, fighting stopped after all parties involved, agreed upon an Armistice.
Although November 11th has become the important day – both in history and in the different ways that people across the country observe the solemn occasion. The official end of World War I took place on June 28, 1919 when all nations that fought in the war came to the Palace of Versailles to sign the Treaty of Versailles. The signing of that treaty made what was considered a temporary end to fighting, a permanent end.
From 1919, when the first Armistice Day was observed, until 1954, the day was always called Armistice Day. In 1954, President Eisenhower decided that because of the enormity of fighting in World War II and Korea, the day should be one on which to honor soldiers who fought in those wars, and over the years, it has grown to include veterans of every war. By changing the name to Veteran’s Day, the federal government made the day one on which to honor all who served their country in any branch of the military.
One of the most famous reminders of World War I is a poem written by Canadian Army Lieutenant Colonel, John McCrae, M.D. The poem, entitled “In Flanders Field” was written in 1915, just three short years before his death. Although written to vent his grief upon seeing row after row of white crosses in a field full of gloriously happy red poppies.
The poppy became the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in August of 1922. The VFW later registered a patent for the “Buddy Poppy with the government patent office. The reason for adding the word “buddy” was a way of honoring and showing respect for fellow soldiers who either died in combat or who suffered life altering injuries from which many never recovered.
You can find artificial poppies around any VFW building, and they are sometimes sold on the street. Since the growing season is over in Ohio, you can rekindle the meaning of the poppy with red flowers. If you want to honor a deceased veteran by visiting their grave, sprinkle hand picked red rose petals over the grave stone.
The American Tribute Series from Griffin’s Floral Designs has arrangements of red, white and blue flowers in a glass vase or smaller basket, both of which convey the patriotic support that people want to show veterans on their special day.