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franklin county times

Franklin Education Retirees celebrate Thanksgiving, veterans

By Susie Hovater Malone

Lifestyles Columnist

Members of the Franklin County Education Retirees Association were treated to a Thanksgiving luncheon on Nov. 15 at The Cottage. Brenda Oliver gave the invocation.

President Sandy Gibson presented a program about the history of Veterans Day.

World War I, known at the time as the “Great War,” officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day.

An Act approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor Veterans of World War I.

In 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the nation’s history, and after the American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the Veterans’ service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.”

With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American Veterans of all wars.

There were other pieces of Veterans Day legislation throughout the years, but the final one was passed Sept. 20, 1975, when President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of  Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the majority of state legislatures, all major veterans’ service organizations and the American people.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on Nov. 11, regardless of which day of the week it falls.  The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to Nov. 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but also helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day as a celebration to honor American’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

The original concept, and one that continues today, a day celebrated with observations including parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m. The first Veterans Day celebration was held in Birmingham, Ala. in 1946. Two members of the FCERA recognized for their service included Troy Oliver and Wade Baker.

In the business session, the minutes and treasurer’s reports were approved. Members approved a $100 donation to the AERA Food Bank, which will be used in our district. Members were encouraged to attend the advocacy training in Cullman Jan. 17, 2024.

The AERA Legislative Day will be held in February in Montgomery. Teachers interested in working toward an advanced degree need to submit their application for the AERA District I $2,000 scholarship. The deadline is Feb. 1, 2024.

The next meeting will be held Dec. 13 at the Russellville Methodist Church.

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