This year we celebrate 72 years of women in the armed services. On June 12, 1948, President Harry Truman signed into law the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act allowing women to serve as regular members of the military.
On May 5, 2017, Representative Victoria Neave filed House Bill 2698, establishing Women Veterans Day. HB2698 was later incorporated into Texas Senate Bill 805 and on June 9, 2017 was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott designating June 12th as Women Veterans Day.
During World War II (1939-1945), the Battle of Normandy, which lasted from June 1944 to August 1944, resulted in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control. Codenamed Operation Overlord, the battle began on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, when some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region. The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history and required extensive planning. Prior to D-Day, the Allies conducted a large-scale deception campaign designed to mislead the Germans about the intended invasion target. By late August 1944, all of northern France had been liberated, and by the following spring the Allies had defeated the Germans. The Normandy landings have been called the beginning of the end of war in Europe.
Fred Rogers made a promise to Mary Bush, the mother of Army Cpl. Peter J. Courcy, who was killed in a suicide bombing attack in 2009.
That promise has fueled the launch, growth and success of American Legion Peter J. Courcy Post 178 in Frisco, Texas. Since receiving its charter in January 2014, post membership has increased from 15 to more than 500 while fulfilling its community service goals.
“She was delighted because she wants Peter’s legacy to live on,” Rogers, the post commander, said of Bush. “And that’s the promise that we made to her. And that’s a very serious commitment for us to make sure that his memory lives on.”
Courcy will be remembered as a selfless soldier, an athlete — hockey and wrestling — and a practical joker. He was killed on Feb. 10, 2009, as a result of injuries following a suicide car bombing in Salerno, Afghanistan.
Veterans Day is intended to thank all those who honorably served in the military – in war time or peace time.
Veterans Day is observed every year on November 11th. Veterans Day was originally called “Armistice Day” when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed this day in November 1919. Armistice is when warring parties agree to stop fighting and “Armistice Day” recognizes the end of World War 1 when hostilities ceased on November 11th at 11 A.M, 1918 (11th hour, of the 11th, of the 11th month).
On May 13th, 1938 Armistice Day was declared a legal holiday each year. A day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace. Originally Armistice Day only honored veterans of World War.
On November 11th, 1947 Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran, organized a “National Veterans Day” parade in Birmingham, Alabama to recognize veterans of all wars.
This celebration led to Congress changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954 to recognize Veterans of all U.S. wars.
The 2019 issue of the Harris Farmer’s Almanac salutes The American Legion with a one-page article recognizing the organization’s 100th anniversary. Now on sale nationally, the annual collection of weather forecasts, notable events, predictions, gardening hints and more also profiles in the same issue Moina Michael, the so-called “Poppy Lady” who fueled U.S. attention on the flower and its meaning as a symbol for the fallen of World War I.
In the article “A Salute to The American Legion,” writer Veda Boyd Jones notes several of the organization’s accomplishments over the last century, including American Legion Baseball, Boys State, establishment of the Veterans Bureau, predecessor to the VA, and the 1944 GI Bill, as well as the Legion’s support for the most recent update of it, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017.
The American Legion has the support of Congress to designate the Friday before Memorial Day as National Poppy Day, a day that encourages all Americans to wear a red poppy as a symbol to honor the fallen and support the living heroes who have worn our nation’s uniform.
After World War I, the poppy flourished in Europe. scientists attributed the growth to soils in France and Belgium becoming enriched with lime from the rubble left by the war. the red poppy came to symbolize the blood shed by those who fought and those who continue to fight for our country following the publication of the wartime poem In Flanders Fields. The poem was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D. while serving on the front line in World War I, to honor soldiers killed in battle.
The poppy became the memorial flower of the American Legion on September 27, 1920 in Cleveland, Ohio.
National Poppy Day is an initiative supported by the entire American Legion Family, which includes The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of The American Legion, and the American Legion Riders.
Each year, members of The American Legion Family, led by The American Legion Auxiliary, distribute poppies with a request that the person receiving the flower make a donation. Proceeds from the sale of items such as jewelry and other themed merchandise also benefit the mission to support the future of veterans, active-duty military personnel and their families with medical and financial needs.