Yorktown, Pa. resident, Pop Kensey, said he can appreciate the importance of recognizing Veterans Day.
Nov. 11 became an American holiday in 1919 when a temporary ceasefire was affected by the Allied Nations and Germany, originally honoring those who died in World War I. The holiday was called “Armistice Day” until after World War II, when it was expanded to honor all U.S. war veterans.
Last Friday, Nov. 11, Yorktown resident Pop Kensey paused to contemplate how war has affected his family. His father served in World War II during Pearl Harbor, and his brother fought in the Vietnam War. Kensey then talked about those who have lost their lives in war.
“They served and died for the cause,” Kensey said. “They died for their country and their cause. That’s a blessing.”
Not only did the name of the Nov. 11 holiday change, but the stated purpose of celebration changed, too. Today, Veterans Day exists to honor U.S. veterans of all wars, but when it existed as Armistice Day, the holiday served to celebrate and promote peace.
When World War I failed to be the “war to end all wars,” the U.S. government changed the nature and the name of the holiday.
After seeing his father and brother fight in war many decades ago, Kensey said he was frustrated that the U.S. is still at war.
“Today we’re still fighting. Why can’t we have peace sometime so we won’t have war?” Kensey said.
In Philadelphia, a Veteran Day ceremony was held in Philadelphia’s National Cemetery, approximately six miles north of Main Campus. Temple honored university alumni and faculty graduates with a tribute followed by a luncheon. Kensey said he had other plans.
“For Veterans’ Day…I’m going to eat, drink and be merry,” Kensey said. “For the veterans, God bless them, all of them.”
Abi Reimold can be reached at