By: Wanish Tortes-Mcginnis
People still to this day are confused about the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance of people who fought and have fallen in wars; we honor and mourn for their courageous acts and bravery for this country. Wars that can be tied to Memorial Day are World War 1, World War 2, Vietnam, Korea, and the Afghanistan and Iraqi Wars.
Veterans Day was not always called Veterans Day. On November 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the day as Armistice Day, in honor of the anniversary of the surrender of Germany the year before. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the Germans came to an armistice with the Allied Powers, thus effectively ending the war. In 1954 the holiday changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day because America had already been in two wars, World War 2 and Korea. Instead of just honoring veterans of World War 1, the U.S Congress decided to honor veterans of all wars.
Here at Pleasanton High School, there are at least three veterans who have served and are now teaching in the classroom. First, Chief Danny Pitts, who teaches law, served in the United States Army for 21 years and retired as a Sergeant First Class. Mr. Steve Wusterbarth served in the United States Army Reserves as a PFC Specialist for two years. COL(Ret) Chris Wynder Chris Wynder served 27 years in the United States Army and retired as a Colonel. Finally, COL(Ret) Elvin J. Nuells served in the Army for 30 years as a Command Sergeant Major. Thank you to you all and any others that were missed for your service and the things you sacrificed so that we could be free.
In closing, it is hoped that by knowing a little more about Veteran’s Day, perhaps we can all act a little kinder, and smile and thank a Veteran when you see them in a store, at a game, or just enjoying the sunshine.