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Honoring those who served

In the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the guns fell silent.

On the battlefields of Europe, where war had raged for more than four years, the survivors breathed a sigh of relief.

It was over.

The War to End All Wars, it was called.1

Of course, it wasn’t that, not at all, and the toll of its carnage was staggering: more than nine million dead, more than 21 million wounded.2

And it gave rise to what today is called Veterans Day.

First proclaimed in November 1919 by President Wilson,3 Armistice Day became a national holiday by statute in 1938.4 In 1954, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day.5

It joined the list of three-day-weekend holidays in 19686 but was returned to its original date of November 11th by statute passed in 1975, effective in 1978.7

And so, today, November 11th — Veterans Day — The Legal Genealogist joins those who pause to thank every man and woman who has ever served this nation, wearing the uniform of its military services.

So many of them from my own family.8

Among them, my brothers, sister and nephew-in-law:

Evan H. Geissler, U.S. Air Force
Diana M. Geissler McKenzie, U.S. Air Force
Frederick M. Geissler, U.S. Army
Warren H. Geissler, U.S. Air Force
William K. Geissler, U.S. Marine Corps

My mother’s siblings and first cousins:

Billy R. Cottrell, U.S. Navy
Monte B. Cottrell, U.S. Navy
David F. Cottrell, U.S. Navy and U.S. Army
Jerry L. Cottrell, U.S. Air Force
Michael V. Cottrell, U.S. Air Force
Philip Cottrell, U.S. Marine Corps, 1920-1943
Frederick Merledon Gottlieb, U.S. Army
Sam Walter “Pete” Harris, U.S. Army

Among what we call the outlaws (my mother’s brothers-in-law and my nephew-in-law):

J.C. Barrett, U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force
Miller (Ray) Childress, U.S. Navy
John C. Epps, U.S. Army
Thomas T. Williams, Jr., U.S. Air Force (Reserve)
David Tolliver, U.S. Navy

And those who went before:

Clay R. Cottrell, U.S. Army, World War I
Gilbert F. Cottrell, U.S. Army, World War I
Jesse Fore, fifer, Captain Michael Gaffney’s Company, South Carolina Militia, War of 1812
Elijah Gentry Sr., Private, 1st Regiment, Mississippi Territorial Volunteers, War of 1812
Elijah Gentry, Private, 1st Regiment, Mississippi Territorial Volunteers, War of 1812
David Baker, Corporal, 3d Virginia Regiment, Continental Line
William Noel Battles, Private, 10th Virginia Regiment, Continental Line
John Pettypool, 1771, Militia, Granville County, NC
William Pettypool, 1701-02, Militia, Charles City County (Va.) Dragoons
Nicholas Gentry, cir 1680, Militia, Mattapony (Va.) Garrison


SOURCES

Image: “Germany Has Surrendered,” New York Tribune, 11 Nov 1918, p.1; digital images, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, Library of Congress (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ : accessed 10 Nov 2017).

  1. See Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.com), “The war to end war,” rev. 4 Sep 2017.
  2. World War I,” History.com (http://www.history.com : accessed 10 Nov 2017).
  3. Armistice Day,” WWPL Blog, posted 11 Nov 2011, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum (http://wwplblog.wordpress.com : accessed 10 Nov 2017).
  4. “AN ACT Making the 11th day of November in each year a legal holiday,” 52 Stat. 351 (13 May 1938).
  5. “An Act To honor veterans on the 11th day of November of each year, a day dedicated to world peace,” 68 Stat. 168 (1 Jun 1954).
  6. “An Act To provide for uniform annual observances of certain legal public holidays on Mondays, and for other purposes,” 82 Stat. 250 ( 27 Jun 1968).
  7. “An Act To redesignate November 11 of each year as Veterans Day and to make such day a legal public holiday,” 89 Stat. 479 (18 Sep 1975).
  8. The list would be so much longer if I even began to list the cousins!
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