Timothy Tangen Minn. – Duluth ’03, Director of Alumni Associations; Archivist
While we reserve a special moment of silence and reflection on the last Monday in May for Memorial Day and for all the Servicemen and Servicewomen who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country, we reserve the 11th Day of the 11th Month to Honor ALL Veterans for their service; All gave some, some gave all.
The armistice that originally ended World War I went into effect on the 11th hour of that famous day. It has been said that the delay in putting the armistice into effect until 11 a.m. local time (rather than 5 a.m. when it was signed) cost the lives of nearly 11,000 extra innocent souls including the tragic death of American Henry Gunther who was shot by Germans at 10:59 a.m.
Veterans Day began in the United States as a celebration created by President Woodrow Wilson, known as Armistice Day, and was first marked on this date in 1919. President Wilson, a fellow brother of Phi Kappa Psi, proclaimed in commemoration of Armistice Day:
“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…”
In England and throughout the British Commonwealth it was known as Remembrance Day. President Eisenhower, himself a veteran of WWII, later modified Wilson’s declaration, and changed the holiday to Veterans Day so that all Veterans could be honored and remembered, and not just those of the First Great War.
Today take a few extra moments to thank a Veteran. While it is something that we should do normally and often for all that they do or did to protect and serve us, today is a great day to make that special care and effort to do so. We at Phi Psi want to take a moment to thank all of our member that are serving and have served. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.