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75th Anniversary of the First Veterans Day Celebration and Free Access to Fold3® on Veterans Day Weekend

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Following WWI, the United States commemorated November 11th as Armistice Day. The date was significant since WWI fighting ended on November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour, 11th month, 11th day). However, in 1947, a WWII veteran from Birmingham, Alabama, was the driving force in his community to organize this country’s first Veterans Day celebration. Raymond Weeks believed that all veterans should be recognized – not only those who perished, as was the case for Memorial Day. The idea took root, and eventually, in 1954, Congress passed a bill designating November 11th as Veterans Day.

This Veterans Day marks the 75th anniversary of that first celebration. To honor all veterans, starting Thursday, we are offering free access* to Fold3® on Veterans Day weekend (November 10-13). We invite you to explore our Fold3® collections, find records related to your veteran, and create a Memorial for our Honor Wall. These Memorials contain heroic stories of service and sacrifice and can be shared with others. You can attach military records, stories, journals, and photographs in one place to create a lasting tribute to the service of your veteran. There is no subscription required to view these Memorials. For tips on how to create a Memorial, click here.

Sgt. Daniel P. Matthews

One example of a Memorial is that of Sgt. Daniel P. Matthews, who served in the Korean War. Dan and his twin brother Dave were from Van Nuys, California, and enlisted together in 1951. Dan served in the Marines, while his brother Dave served in the Navy. Dave recalled that each time a round was fired from his Navy ship, he prayed it would keep Dan safe. On March 28, 1953, at Vegas Hill, Korea, Dan charged an enemy machine gun emplacement. The enemy assault was preventing the extraction of a wounded Marine. Though seriously wounded by enemy fire, Dan continued the charge until mortally wounded. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Dave accompanied his brother’s body home, and the heartbroken family laid Dan to rest in Sylmar, California.

We owe a debt of gratitude to our veterans and their families. Take advantage of free access to our Fold3® records collections this Veterans Day and explore nearly 600 million records from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWI, WWII, and more. Discover incredible details about the courageous men and women who have served to defend and protect our country. Search Fold3® today.

*Access to the records on Fold3® will be free until 13 Nov 2022 at 11:59 p.m. MT. Registration required. After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view records using a paid Fold3® membership.

42 Comments

  1. Paul Vernon Thomas says:

    Happy 75 th anniversary of the first Veterans Day.

  2. Penny Kuehl says:

    God Bless all our Military, past and present, for keeping freedom alive.

  3. Edward Myers says:

    Very nice

  4. Lynne Lillard says:

    God bless the USA and all those who served/serve to protect us including my significant other, father and maternal grandfather.

  5. Robert Mansker says:

    God bless the USA and the Men and Women who took the oath to protect and defend her.

  6. Marva Crews says:

    God bless all who served in the various branches of service. Happy 75th Anniversary!

  7. Theresa Pitman says:

    Sad brother story , all military men supply our freedom. we can never thank them enough.

  8. Linda Hopper Jowers says:

    God bless & thank you to all of my & my family’s ancestors who fought from the Revolutionary War through the Vietnam era & are current veterans.

  9. Jon says:

    My grandfather served in WWI in the US Army.
    My dad served in the US Coast Guard in WWII and i served in the US Navy and did two tours in Viet Nam.

    • Jean Kellner says:

      May God Bless you and your family always.

    • Karen German says:

      Generations of veterans – that’s the American way! I am most grateful for your service and sacrifice. My ancestor veterans and current veterans salute you and your family!

    • Frances King says:

      Many Thanks to you Jon, to your father and your grandfather …

  10. Mali Dahl says:

    Thank you to all veterans & their families. When a family member serves, the entire family serves. God keep our servicemen and women safe. Bring them home safely. Thank you for serving, protecting our country and for doing the things that I cannot do. You are loved, honored and appreciated.

    • Ron Oliver says:

      How true about all the family serving. We all feel it. All 4 of us boys served, two in Viet Nam along with cousins. My oldest brother was killed the day after he instructed one of the struggling men in his company to sit out the next day’s mission, an order that save the man’s life as his squad were all killed on that mission. This is the same brother who I watched years before save the life of our youngest sister. This service was felt by all the extended family.

  11. OliverMcKeithan says:

    Thank you to all who have served and continue to serve. My direct ancestor on my father’s side served in the Civil War. My father was a Navy veteran and my brother and I served in the Air Force.

  12. Todd J Alles Sr says:

    YOU stood up, YOU showed up, YOU stepped forward, YOU raised your right hand, YOU stood the GAP, YOU walked in the fire, YOU did not run, YOU did not hide, YOU did not dodge, YOU did not evade. Consequently, YOU have nothing to prove, no one to convince. Those who matter, already know. Those who don’t, NEVER WILL. SALUTE to all my Brothers and Sisters in Arms.

  13. Don Parker says:

    Happy veterans day !
    To my USMC brothers , Happy Birthday !

  14. Loren Simms says:

    “I walked the walk, so I can talk the talk”. RVN: 69-70 LCS

  15. John Howard says:

    Salute

  16. Keith James says:

    My father served on HMS Ocean aircraft carrier. He told me many stories about Korea and the US aircraft landing on his ship and was very proud of all the various countries that took part in the conflict. He thought the pilots flying the combat missions were very brave and spoke of the casualties and severe wounds that they suffered.
    God bless all those who served to keep our countries free.

  17. Patricia Baber says:

    Thank you to the men and women in all branches of the military who served and continue to serve.

  18. Art Asbury says:

    I was a SCARWAF engineer in the 1950s but see no records of our units.
    We were “Special Category ARmy With Air Force & our Groups built & refurbished Airfields & installations. My duty was in England, France, Germany & other places. I traveled wherever there were air installations…. Any old Army Air Engineers there?

  19. Jim Young says:

    Thank you or your service.

  20. Sheila Sorenson Hall says:

    Thank all of my relatives for sure from Cival war all through to Gulf War to protect the rest of the family. I am really proud of you.

  21. Emily Embree says:

    I am grateful for have had the privilege to. Serve as a WAC in the USArmy. I served an extended time in Vietnam, 1968/69. I love our country and am proud to have served

  22. Billy P. Whyde says:

    Hi I would like two items if possible
    Ships log of the USS Paul Revere LPA-248 from 1972 through 1973.

    The other being
    Naval Research Unit Four
    Great Lakes, Illinois 60098
    All records of the Medical Reasearch Project
    Partially missing #022.03.C ??????? Live ?????? Vaccine study this took place in 1969 earlier start possible ending date of study unknown
    I was used in medical research when I was 17 years old in boot camp!

  23. […] announcement about free access also says, “We invite you to explore our Fold3 collections, find records […]

  24. Ron Bodigheimer says:

    We cannot thank our Veteran’s enough!
    The Knights of Columbus have the “Patriotic” Degree (4th degree) in which we honor the Veteran’s all year. Our
    Assembly #3453, has Vet’s from WWII to the Gulf as members. We salute you all!

  25. ROBERTA YOUNG says:

    Thank you to all who served our country.
    God bless and keep you.

  26. Colleen King says:

    Dear Lord, Lest I continue my complacent way, Help ME to remember, somewhere out there a man died for me today. As Long as there be war, I then must ask and answer, am I worth dying for?
    God Bless all service persons for my freedom.

    • Todd Alles says:

      From a Veteran blessed to be alive, YOU and ALL AMERICANS are worth dying for. YOU are ALL the reason we take that oath, stand that watch and run into fire.

  27. Patty kinsinger says:

    Thank u to o all veterans especially my sister and my husband and my late cousins.

  28. Susan Pianka says:

    To the gentleman wondering about Engineers… my Dad too young at beginning of WWII, but toward end, right from high school enlisted; basic training, European war ended, so then additional training for Japan; on board ship for invasion of Japan when war ended; based on former occupation (carpenter’s helper) got sent to an Engineering unit, ended up making/fixing roads in the Phillipines, then reconstruction as occupational forces in Japan, then went into communications for the Army Air Force in Korea. Some of his stories about the snipers in the Philippines, and his impressions of Japan and Korea have given us a great appreciation of all those who have served. He will be 96 in a few days, and we are most grateful for that!

    • Todd Alles says:

      What a wonderful story about a servant leader. How fortunate you are to have had 96 years with this giant of a man. His legacy will live through all those he has touched. God bless him.

  29. Lee Scruggs says:

    Veterans Day is important to me because both my grandfathers fought in WWI. I also have ancestors starting from the revolutionary war until the past day.nded and some gave the untimate sacrfice for our great country.

  30. Rosellen Mary Brittain says:

    Thank you, to all living and those who have passed. My father, uncles, husband, father-in-law, cousins, friends. And all the others who sacrificed for freedom. And I prayer for all of our future veterans of all Army, Air Force, navy and Marines and Coastguard. Thank you to the families of all of our brave men and women.
    Rose

  31. Rose says:

    God Bless all of our veterans living and those who are gone. We live in peace because of these brave men and women in all branches of our arm forces. My father WWI, my father in-law WWII, my brother in-law, my husband Vietnam and several other family members. We are free I hope our country gets back to its glory. Bless you all for your sacrifice.

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