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November 10, 2011

To the University of Miami Community:

Tomorrow is Veterans Day.

The origin and meaning of Veterans Day in the United States often gets lost, given its current association with public school and postal service closings and department store sales. 

The reason Americans celebrate Veterans Day on November 11 annually dates back to 1918 during World War I, when an armistice, a temporary cessation of hostilities, was reached on “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”

President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Armistice Day on November 11, 1919 as a day “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…” With the ensuing military service of millions of Americans during World War II and the Korean War, the date officially became known as Veterans Day to honor veterans of all wars.

In reality every day is Veterans Day, and our nation owes much to those who have fought and sacrificed everything to preserve our rights and freedoms. I am especially delighted to announce that the Committee on Student Organizations has approved the establishment of the Veterans Student Organization to represent this special group of students on our campuses.

I invite the University community to join me tomorrow at our annual Veterans Day Tribute, which will be held at The Rock, across from the bookstore, at 10 a.m. We will be joined by special guests representing the U.S. Armed Forces; faculty-, staff-, and student-veterans; the University of Miami ROTC; and the greater community.

We have so much to be grateful for—let’s remember that tomorrow and every day.