Rock Island Academy student Leticia McCray-Brown was selected as one of the winners of Illinois Senator Neil Anderson's Veterans Day Essay Contest.
For the contest, students were asked to submit a 300-400-word essay based on the prompt “What is the history of Veterans Day, and why is it important that we celebrate this day each year?” A judge panel of military veterans reviewed the students’ submitted work and select one winning essay, as well as three to five runners-up essays.
Leticia wrote about how Veterans Day came to be a time-honored tradition (essay below). She enjoyed writing the essay and also enjoyed researching facts about the history of how the observance came to be. "I wanted to write more but I only could have no more than 400 words."
The contest winner and finalists will have the opportunity to visit the Senator at the State Capitol in Springfield on a 2018 Spring Legislative Session Day and will receive Certificates of Recognition from the Illinois Senate. Miss McCray-Brown chose to visit Senator Neil Anderson in Springfield on a day during the 2018 Spring Legislative Session.
The History and Importance of Veterans Day
by Laticia McCray-Brown
The History of Veterans Day is truly remarkable. As we know, “Veteran’s Day began as ‘Armistice Day’ on November 11, 1919; the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and November 11 became a federal holiday beginning in 1938.” “Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans, and especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country outstandingly during war or peacetime.” “In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month , an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I, then known as ‘the Great War.’ Remembered in many countries as Armistice Day the following year, November 11th became a federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day was legally known as Veterans Day.”
The history of Veterans Day is really cool if you think about it. Here is a fun fact: “Red poppies, a symbol of World War I from their appearance in the beloved poem ‘In Flanders Field’ by John McCrae, are sold in Canada and the United Kingdom on Remembrance Day to raise money for veterans or worn on the lapel as a tribute.” So when we think about Veterans Day, you will think about the history and why we celebrate it. I always say how brave these Veterans are and how they served us. They have a lot of respect and honor because of what they did. Why do you think we have a holiday just for them? To show them that we care about them and appreciate them in every way for freeing our country and saving it. If you see a veteran today go up to the and thank them for all they have done for our country and being so brave.