Today, 11/11 is Veterans Day in the United States originally known as Armistice Day, a national holiday to honor all veterans. In 1919 with the end of the First World War, President Woodrow Wilson honored the veterans of the war that was to end all wars:
“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.”
Later in 1947, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks approached General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who at the time was President Harry S. Truman’s Chief of Staff at the Army. Weeks suggested that Armistice Day should encompass all veterans including those currently in service. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill presented by Congress into law to honor all veterans on Armistice Day. Within a week, on June 1, 1954, Congress amended “Armistice Day” to be called “Veterans Day.”
But one day does not feel quite enough, does it? In taking Wilson’s words to heart, the rowing world embraces the freedom and opportunity veterans have given with the freedom and opportunity waiting in rowing, especially in adaptive rowing. Rowing really is a great sport.
Check out first timers on water, Veterans row Riverfront Recapture in Hartford:
Check out once a Marine, always a Marine and Rowing Champion Angela Madsen interview, Veterans Day 2014: