Home > Ask Gary > Does the automotive industry do anything special to honor veterans?

Does the automotive industry do anything special to honor veterans?

VeteransDayVeteran’s today are honored everywhere, including in the automotive industry. However, before I get into the specifics to answer your question, I would like to say a very big THANK YOU to all U.S. veterans for risking their lives, protecting our freedom and fighting for democracy at home and abroad, from all of us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion.

In the last few decades, similar to the veterans of World Wars I and II and the Korean War, veterans are returning to the U.S. with tributes honoring them as they deserve, and treating them like the heroes they are. In many cities and towns, bases and airports, volunteers line up to send off veterans and welcome them home, expressing their appreciation. Signs and banners hang in many cities and towns to welcome their hometown veterans back home. They deserve these tributes and so much more for defending the honor of the United States.

Let me share with you some information on the roots of this special holiday of Veterans Day:

Who does this holiday honor? Veterans Day is a federal holiday that is celebrated on November 11th each year and honors all those who have served in the armed forces, past and present, unlike Memorial Day, which is set aside to honor those who died serving their country.

How did Veterans Day first become a holiday?  This holiday dates back to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, who proclaimed Armistice Day on November 11, 1919 to mark the end of World War I. The armistice between Germany and the Allied nations that ended WWI was signed on that day and a ceasefire went into effect on the 11th hour of November 11, 1918. (However, the war didn’t officially end until seven months later on June 28, 1919, when the parties signed the Treaty of Versailles in France.)

How did they celebrate the holiday in earlier years?  The initial celebration included a short work stoppage at 11 a.m. on November 11th. President Wilson’s proclamation noted: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”

Was it a national holiday from the beginning?  On June 4, 1926, Congress passed its own resolution asking President Calvin Coolidge to issue a proclamation to observe November 11th as a national holiday designed to celebrate world peace and the end of WWI.

In 1945, a veteran of World War II from Birmingham, Alabama, led a delegation to Army Chief of Staff General Dwight Eisenhower to convince him to turn Armistice Day into a time to honor all those who served in the armed forces.

When did the name and date change? Eisenhower, by then president, signed a bill into law in 1954 and Congress agreed to change the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October in 1971 then changed back to its original November 11th date in 1978. If the day fell on a Saturday or Sunday, then it was observed on Monday or Friday, respectively.

How is it celebrated now? Veterans Day is now observed on November 11th, regardless of which day of the week it falls. Federal and most state offices and most schools are generally closed.

As for the automotive industry, Toyota has a “We salute you” program with a $500 rebate on all new Toyotas financed or leased at a Toyota dealership. This is for active duty, inactive reservists, veterans, retirees of U.S. Military; or for any household member currently living with eligible U. S. military personnel or veteran.

Volvo currently has a program for the disabled called “Mobility by Volvo” whereby anyone who is disabled can be reimbursed up to $1,000 toward the cost of adaptive equipment added to an eligible new Volvo; or up to $200 on alert hearing devices. Volvo’s award-winning safety features and technology serve the disabled well. There are also specials for military personnel overseas.

Retailers, service business and other professions recognize veterans by offering them special deals, discounts and free items on Veteran’s Day.  For veterans looking for Veteran’s Day free meals, snacks, haircuts and more, go to a national list posted on U.S. Today’s website. Local lists are available on the web at various local media websites.

Click here for a list of special deals for veterans throughout the year on the Military.com website from national stores, companies and organizations.

Today, on this Veteran’s Day 2014, let us all pray for peace, the safe return of all our veterans abroad and for those veterans we have lost. And of course, remember to say thank you and honor all the veterans you know or come in contact with today.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

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