We pause every Nov. 11 to express our gratitude and appreciation for our veterans who have bravely and selflessly served our country. The tradition of taking a day to honor the gallant heroes who fought for our country actually began in 1919. President Woodrow Wilson (former New Jersey Governor) proclaimed Nov. 11, 1919, to be Armistice Day, in recognition of the one-year anniversary of the armistice (or truce) that ended World War I. He famously said, “On the eleventh hour or the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we will remember them.”
Congress made it official on May 13, 1938, proclaiming the 11th of Nov. a legal holiday. The day was dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as Armistice Day. At the time, Armistice Day was primarily a day to honor veterans of World War I.
In 1954, the 83rd Congress broadened this recognition at the urging of Veterans service organizations. This was on the heels of the Korean War and in consideration of World War II, which required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen in our nation’s history. The 1938 Act was amended by striking out the word armistice and inserting the word veterans in its place. With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars and conflicts.
Veterans Day is now a holiday to reflect and celebrate our country and those who have served it. Take a moment, as I do, to think about the sacrifices made by those who have served, along with their families, so that we can live in our free and great nation. On behalf of the Harrison Township community, I express our sincere thanks to all veterans for answering the call of duty. Thank you for your courage.
We have created a place for you to honor a veteran in your family or circle of friends right here. The Harrison Township Veterans Memorial is located at the entrance of the William Wilt Soccer Complex. The walkway to the memorial is known as Hero Lane and is lined with engraved brick pavers honoring veterans who have served our country. You can order a paver by contacting our Municipal Clerk, Julie Undercuffler at 856-478-4111, Ext. 6136.