By Maria A. Ditchek

How many of us think of November as any month other than the fact that Thanksgiving is approaching. Yet, for me, November is a very special month.

It starts out with All Saints Day, for Christians. That is the day that we give homage to those saints that were persecuted for their faith.

Then it is followed, on November 2nd, by All Souls Day – which is a reminder to us of the friends and loved ones that we have lost. In the Mexican tradition, it is called “Dia de Muertos” and it is believed that the dead spirits return to enjoy a visit with their relatives and friends. Elaborate luncheons are made and, those that can, will have a picnic at the gravesite. I’ve seen it, and the ceremony is quite heartwarming. What a wonderful way to remember our loved ones who have physically left us but are always in our hearts.

We then commemorate, on the 11th, Veteran’s Day – formerly called Armistice Day. A day when at the end of World War I, hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany ceased and an armistice went into effect–on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, even though the Treaty to end the war was not signed until June 28, 1919. In November of that same year President Woodrow Wilson declared Armistice Day a national holiday.

Although November 11, 1918 was then regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars” we certainly know that this is not true. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, on October 8th, 1954, at the urging of the 83rd Congress and various veterans organizations, amended the Armistice Day Act by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans”.  November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars; and rightfully so.  There are very few veterans left from WWII, but the veterans’ roster

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