On May 3, 1915, Canadian physician John McCrae penned the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” in honor of a fallen fellow soldier following the Second Battle of Ypres. The poem became a rallying cry among Allied nations to continue fighting and support the war effort.
On January 27, 1973, the Paris Peace Accords ended US involvement in the Vietnam War. It marked the end of a decade of US presence in Vietnam, though the fighting would continue for two more years.
On November 11, 1954, America first observed Veterans Day, previously known as Armistice Day. Initially a day set aside to honor the veterans of World War I, it was expanded in 1954 to pay tribute to all veterans.
On November 10, 1919, the American Legion held its first convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Legion has been a champion for military service members for over a century.
On August 7, 1782, George Washington ordered the creation of the Badge of Military Merit to be awarded for bravery in battle. The predecessor of the Purple Heart, it’s one of the oldest military awards worldwide that is open to all who are wounded in battle.
On July 21, 1930, President Hoover signed legislation forming the Veterans Administration, often called simply, the VA.
On July 18, 1979, the first National POW/MIA Recognition Day was observed. It’s a day to honor past and present POW/MIAs, rededicate efforts to bring them home, and care for the families still waiting on their return home.
Leslie Lynch King Jr., better known as Gerald Rudolph Ford, was born on July 14, 1913, in Omaha, Nebraska. He was the only US president not elected to the presidency or vice presidency.