Wayne Post
  • Historically speaking: A peek at Palmyra’s past

  • Somewhere our time fell back one hour, I think I missed that; but there are still 24 hours in a day, which is certainly not enough,

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  • Somewhere our time fell back one hour, I think I missed that; but there are still 24 hours in a day, which is certainly not enough, and history is still being made every single day. Last week we spoke about the Wayne County Fair and this week we are talking about our amazing, wonderful veterans. Do you know why Veteran’s Day is celebrated on the 11th of November each year? It was after WWI; called “The Great War” that armistice came to the troops on the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour. The date of this actual event was considered Nov. 11, 1918, but not until a mandate by President Woodrow Wilson and approved by congress was it made a legal holiday that was honored in November of 1919. This was a remembrance of the end of the worst worldwide war that ever happened in hopes that this day of remembrance would bring forth the good will and understanding between nations. At that time of this declaration 27 states were already participating.  
    On May 13, 1938 an Act of Congress declared that the 11th of November was to be celebrated as a legal holiday known as “Armistice Day” which primary purpose was to be set aside to honor veterans of WWI, said to be the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen in our Nation’s history. Of course, that was until WWII came along resulting in a change by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the U.S. Congress on June 1, 1954 declaring that November 11th would become a day to honor American veterans of all wars.   Was this the final decision on this well deserved Veteran’s Day? Absolutely not, and now let’s jump up to the Uniform Holiday Bill signed on June 28, 1968, making three national holidays on Mondays. These holidays were to be Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, and Columbus Day. What could the reason be for this amazing decision, you might ask? It was done to insure recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many of the states didn’t agree with this change. According to the “History of Veterans Day” the first Veterans Day under the new law was observed not in November but in October and not on the 11th but on the 25th of the month. October 25, 1971 saw this new “Veteran’s Day” become a day of confusion and when it was celebrated on Sept. 20, 1975 that was the last straw. President Gerald Ford signed the annual observance of Veteran’s Day to its original Nov. 11 beginning in 1978.   
    Palmyra and vicinity have so many veterans from every war ever fought, some reside in our cemetery but many from our most current wars are still around. On this Veterans Day, we thank all of our military personal for their time, sacrifice, and diligence. Nothing is ever free and our Veterans Day is a perfect example of the high price of Freedom. Thank you all for your service. A big thank you to the Harris Hill School in Penfield for the amazing Veterans Day program they put on each year. Historic Palmyra offers two military themed rooms for our visitors from the Revolutionary War to our most current wars. Our winter hours are in effect Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Special tours are always welcome and our Holiday Bazaar is Nov. 15 through 17 at the Alling Coverlet Museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday with Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donations are always welcome, call 597-6981 for pick up.