Thank You Fraters and Veterans

Thank You Fraters and Veterans

Frater Kyle TennantINDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Offices of the Grand Chapter would like to extend a sincere Thank You to all Fraters in the armed services protecting freedoms we all hold dear. The TKE Nation is blessed to have such outstanding men in the world's military forces. As seen on the front page and to the right, Canadian Frater Kyle Tennant (Tau-Omega, Carleton Univ.) and others are showing their Teke pride as they serve at home and abroad. Below is Frater Sterling Williams (Epsilon-Eta, Southwestern Oklahoma State Univ.) standing on the left side of the picture on the bunker.

Veterans Day gives Americans the opportunity to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans. However, most Americans confuse this holiday with Memorial Day, reports the Department of Veterans Affairs. What's more, some Americans don't know why we commemorate our Veterans on Nov.11. It's imperative that all Americans know the history of Veterans Day so that we can honor our service members properly.

Frater Sterling WilliamsUnited States of America

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 the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of "the war to end all wars."

In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "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 the nations."

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11 a.m.

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, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation's history; after 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 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

The observance of Veterans Day on November 11 preserves the historical significance of the date and helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Canada and Beyond

In Canada, November 11th is known as Remembrance Day, a federal holiday. The official national ceremonies are held at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, presided over by the Governor General of Canada, any members of the Canadian Royal Family, the Prime Minister, and other dignitaries, to the observance of the public.

Typically, these events begin with the tolling of the Carillon in the Peace Tower, during which serving members of the Canadian Forces arrive at Confederation Square, followed by the Ottawa diplomatic corps, Ministers of the Crown, special guests, the Royal Canadian Legion (RCL), the vice-regal party, and, if present, the royal party. The arrival of the Governor General is announced by a trumpeter sounding the "Still," whereupon the viceroy is met by the Dominion President of the RCL and escorted to a dais to receive the Vice-Regal Salute, after which the national anthem, "O Canada," is then played. The moment of remembrance begins with the bugling of "Last Post" immediately before 11:00 am, at which time the gun salute fires and the bells of the Peace Tower toll the hour. Another gun salute signals the end of the two minutes of silence, and cues the playing of a lament, and then the bugling of "The Rouse." A flyover of Canadian Air Command craft then occurs at the start of a 21 gun salute, upon the completion of which a choir sings "In Flanders Fields." The various parties then lay their wreaths at the base of the memorial; one wreath is set by the Silver Cross Mother, the most recent recipient of the Memorial Cross, on behalf of all mothers who lost children in any of Canada's armed conflicts. The royal and/or vice-regal group return to the dais to receive the playing of the Royal Anthem of Canada, "God Save the Queen," prior to the assembled Armed Forces personnel and veterans performing a March Past in front of the royal and/or viceregal persons, bringing about the end of the official ceremonies. A tradition of paying more personal tribute to the sacrifice of those who have served and lost their lives in defense of the country has emerged since erection of the The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the War Memorial in 2000. After the official ceremony the general public pay their respects by placing their poppies atop the Tomb.

"Remembrance Day" is the primary designation for the day in many Commonwealth countries such as Australia and Canada. However, "Armistice Day" also remains, often to differentiate the event from Remembrance Sunday, and is the primary designation used in New Zealand and France. "Poppy Day" is also a popular term used, particularly in Malta and South Africa. Veterans Day also falls upon this day in the United States, yet many other allied nations have quite different Veterans Days.

Veteran’s Day Trivia

24.9 million - The number of military veterans in the United States.

1.7 million - The number of veterans who are women.

9.7 million - The number of veterans who are age 65 or over.

8.2 million - Number of Vietnam-era veterans. Vietnam veterans account for more than 3-in-10 veterans, the largest share of any period of service. The next largest share of wartime veterans, 4.4 million or nearly 2-in-10, served during World War II.

6 - Number of states with 1 million or more veterans. These states are California (2.3 million), Florida (1.8 million), Texas (1.7 million), New York (1.2 million), Pennsylvania (1.2 million) and Ohio (1.1 million).

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