month in 1918, an armistice between the United States and
Germany went into effect and led to a cessation of hostilities
in the “Great War”.
Although the war officially ended with the signing of the
Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, the consensus of most
Americans was that the “war to end all wars” came to a close
on November 11, 1918. President Woodrow Wilson, in
1919, proclaimed this date to be Armistice Day.
On June 1, 1954, after World War II and Korea ended, the holiday was renamed Veterans Day to honor American military men and women who served in all foreign wars. Veterans Day remains one national holiday that is celebrated on its official day instead of a Monday.
Civil Air Patrol is keenly aware of the role played by its members in support of the military beginning in World War II and continuing today with our vital missions in Search & Rescue, Disaster Relief, Counter Drug Operations and Homeland Security.
CAP is involved in two high-profile projects intended to honor American military veterans. The first activity is CAP’s partnership in the Wreaths Across America program. Squadron members lay memorial wreaths on the graves of soldiers in national cemeteries around the country. Special Wreath laying ceremonies also take place at community cemeteries, civic monuments, schools and parks. This event generates a great deal of publicity that reminds everyone of the contributions made by veterans who fought for our independence and continued freedom.
The second, undertaken on CAP’s own initiative, is the Congressional Gold Medal project. The goal is to have a Congressional Gold Medal commissioned to honor the members of CAP who served during World War II. CAP utilized general aviation aircraft to conduct anti-submarine costal patrols, ferry medical supplies, transport vital documents, and tow airborne targets for fighter pilot training. The CGM project is still trying to line up congressional sponsors for the bill that would enable the U.S. Mint to create the gold medal. I thank the cadet and senior members in the Great Lakes Region who have contacted their Senators and Congressmen to line
up their sponsorship. We have a way to go, however, so, if you haven’t contacted your Senators and Congressmen yet, now, while they’re home for the Holidays, is a perfect time to reach them “up close and personal.” Our WWII CAP members didn’t let us down; don’t let them down now.
There is a great deal of information on these two activities on the National Headquarters Website at: http://members.gocivilairpatrol.com. Set aside some time on this important day of remembrance to fully appreciate the sacrifices made by all members of the U.S. military and the contributions made by CAP members, which
includes you, for the past 70 years.