Learn more about U.C. Berkeley Law Professor Yoo, here.
Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.'” As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.
In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress — at the urging of the veterans service organizations — amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill ensured three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971.
Finally, on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on Nov. 11.
Celebrating the Veterans Day Holiday
If the Nov. 11 holiday falls on a non-workday — Saturday or Sunday — the holiday is observed by the federal government on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday). Federal government closings are established by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. State and local government closings are determined locally, and non- government businesses can close or remain open as they see fit, regardless of federal, state or local government operation determinations.
United States Senate Resolution 143, which was passed on Aug. 4, 2001, designated the week of Nov. 11 through Nov. 17, 2001, as “National Veterans Awareness Week.” The resolution calls for educational efforts directed at elementary and secondary school students concerning the contributions and sacrifices of veterans.
The difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day
Memorial Day honors servicemembers who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle. Deceased veterans are also remembered on Veterans Day but the day is set aside to thank and honor living veterans who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime.
From the Herald – thank you to our military veterans for your service. We know freedom isn’t free and without your service and sacrifice Americans wouldn’t enjoy the freedoms we do, today. Remembering that and honoring you, today.
Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) announced he will host two upcoming “Service Academy Nights” in Pleasant Hill and Richmond. All students living in the Eleventh Congressional District of California who would like to apply to one of the nation’s premier service academies are invited to attend.
At each of the events, service academy representatives will be on hand to speak with interested students, including members from the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Military Academy (aka West Point). Service academy representatives will give presentations, and Congressman DeSaulnier’s staff will provide a briefing on the nomination process.
Students who wish apply to a service academy must ensure a completed application is received by Congressman DeSaulnier’s office no later than October 31, 2017.
Richmond Service Academy Night Thursday, September 14, 2017 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Richmond City Council Chambers 440 Civic Center Plaza First Floor Richmond, CA 94804
Pleasant Hill Service Academy Night Thursday, September 28, 2017 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Diablo Valley College The Diablo Room, 3rd Floor HFS Building 321 Golf Club Road Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 Details: A map of DVC’s campus can be found here.
For more information on applying to any of the service academies or to RSVP, please contact Congressman DeSaulnier’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (925) 933-2660.
Washington, DC — Today, Friday, April 7, 2017 Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D, CA-11) made the following statement on the U.S. Airstrikes in Syria.
“The atrocities carried out by the Russian-backed regime of President Bashar Al-Assad in Syria on its own innocent men, women, and children are uncivilized and unconscionable. Over the past six years, nearly ten million Syrian civilians have been displaced and driven from their homes, and almost four hundred thousand Syrians have lost their lives. The latest use of chemical weapons on its citizens by the Assad regime demands action by the international community.
The ability of the United States Administration to respond to these attacks is hindered by the relationship between President Trump and the Russian government, which has compromised his moral authority. These rash airstrikes alone are not sufficient to combat the war crimes perpetrated by the Assad regime. President Trump must provide a clear and rational strategy that will not only aid Syrian citizens, but also keep safe the men and women serving in the United States Armed Forces. This strategy must include consulting with Congress and seeking an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), as required by the Constitution.”
Questions were sent to DeSaulnier asking what other actions he would suggest President Trump take in response to Al-Assad’s attacks on his own people and if they should include more U.S. ground troops in Syria. Please check back for his response.
State Senator Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, called on President Barack Obama to exonerate the Port Chicago 50, the African American sailors wrongly convicted of mutiny in Concord, CA, during World War II.
During a noon press conference with the Social Justice Alliance of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County & Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center at the Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church, Glazer made the following statement:
“As we celebrate and honor Dr. Martin Luther King today, we are witnessing the end of President Barack Obama’s historic term in the White House as the first African-American president of the United States.
“In his final days, President Obama has taken important steps to ensure environmental protections, such as protecting the California coastline and environmental standards for fuels. President Obama also announced the designation of three civil rights sites as national monuments.
“While these are significant acts that will have great national impact, I am asking President Obama to take one final small but important step before he leaves the presidency: To take executive action to exonerate the 50 African American sailors – members of the group known as the “Port Chicago 50” – who were wrongfully convicted of mutiny following the tragic accident at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in Concord, CA, in 1944.
“Exonerating these men would restore honor to these 50 sailors, acknowledge the racism that led to their unjust convictions and correct a wrong. It would reflect the just and equal society that President Obama has strived to achieve in the spirit of Dr. King, and would be one final act of grace for the families of these United States sailors.”
Glazer also asked the congregation to tweet President Obama at @POTUS encouraging him to take action with #PortChicago50.
∙After an explosion at Port Chicago in Concord, CA that killed 320 men – most of whom were African-Americans naval seamen – other African-American seamen were ordered back to work loading munitions at the same location.
∙Two-hundred and fifty eight of these sailors refused the orders because working conditions remained unsafe and they had not been trained to handle munitions.
∙After being threatened with the death penalty, 208 of these men reluctantly returned to work. However, the remaining 50 were court-martialed and sentenced to 17 years in prison.
∙They were later discharged with honor, which shows that the U.S. Navy acknowledged the convictions were unjust.
∙Their convictions, however, were never rescinded and the “Port Chicago 50” would carry the mutiny charges until they died.
Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) announced the start of his annual “Holiday Cards for Our Troops” program. In previous years, the Congressman’s district offices collected more than 10,000 cards from the community with personal messages of gratitude and hope for our men and women in uniform. Rep. McNerney is again inviting constituents to submit cards to his district offices that will be delivered to troops at home and overseas during the upcoming holiday season.
“Our servicemen and women make tremendous sacrifices for our country throughout the year, and oftentimes the holiday season can be difficult for those stationed away from home,” said Rep. McNerney. “This holiday card program provides an opportunity for the community to express their gratitude and thank our troops for their service and all that they do to keep us safe. Many service members have told me that these cards, with their messages of encouragement and support, help boost morale when they cannot be home with their families and friends during the holiday season.”
The holiday cards will be sent to troops stationed overseas in packages organized by the Contra Costa Blue Star Moms, East Bay Blue Star Moms, and A Million Thanks.
To participate in the program, make or purchase a holiday card and write a message of thanks inside to a service member. Cards must be delivered to Rep. McNerney’s office in Stockton or Antioch by Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. Cards should remain unaddressed and inside unsealed envelopes.
Holiday Card Guidelines:
- Make sure to sign your card
- Use salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through this program
- Do not include inserts such as photographs or candy
- Please no glitter or confetti
- Cards should not have an address or a return address
- Cards should be placed inside unsealed envelopes
Below are the addresses of Rep. McNerney’s offices. Cards can be dropped off at either office on or before November 4th.
2222 Grand Canal Blvd., Suite 7
Stockton, CA 95207
4703 Lone Tree Way
Antioch, CA 94531
McNerney represents California’s 9th Congressional District which includes portions of Contra Costa, San Joaquin, and Sacramento Counties, including most of Antioch. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.