Happy Veterans Day

Today is Vetran’s day.  While yesterday was the day that most Americans “observed” the holiday, this is one of the holidays that has a particular date set.  November 11 is Veterans day for a particular reason.

Veterans Day is a day to honor all veterans, living or dead, who have fought for their country.  Usually it focuses more on those living, as Memorial Day focuses more on those who died during their service.

It was started in 1919 on the first anniversary of the armistice, or the end of World War 2.  At the time it was called Armistice day.  In 1927, Congress passed a resolution to make it an annual event, and in 1938 it officially became a US holiday. After World War II, however, it was clear that the ‘War to End All Wars’ was unfortunately not the truth. In 1954, Congress passed HR 7786, which renamed it from Armistice Day to Veterans day to honor the veterans of all wars.  The US is not the only country to celebrate a Veterans Day, although in many countries it is still known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day.

The first world war ended on June 28, 1919 but Veterans day is set upon the armistice between the nations that took place on November 11, 1918.  It did not officially end the war, but it ended the fighting.  The agreement was to end hostilities on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.  Thus, at 11am (Paris time – so 5am in New York) on November 11, 1918 the actual fighting stopped.  It took till June to formulate and sign the Treaty that would formally end the war.

For a brief period of time starting in 1971 Veterans Day was on a Monday to create a 3 day weekend, and would end up at various times depending on who designed the holiday calendar that year.  However, in 1975, Veterans Day returned to its home on November 11, which has historical significance. Still, while the official day is still November 11, regardless of when it falls during the week, the closing of federal offices occurs the friday or Monday closest to the actual observance.  (This year that being Friday the 10th).  This is why you will sometimes see Veterans Day twice on your calendar.  One will say Observed (i.e. The three day weekend) and one will simply say Veterans Day.

I have several veterans in my family.  Both my grandfathers served.  My paternal Grandfather Henry served with the Navy during the last year or so of World War II.  He actually lied to get into service, being only 16 when he enlisted.  He would find out later that he was actually one of the guards doing duty during the transport of the Hydrogen bomb that would be tested.

My other Grandfather served briefly during Korea, and I have an Uncle, Aunt, and several cousins who served or continue to serve in various branches of the Armed Services.  So today I thank them and all other veterans for the time they spent serving our country.

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National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.  Diabetes is a growing concern in the United States as a chronic disease.  The percentage of the population that is diagnosed with Diabetes has grown over the last 25 years to being almost 1 in 10 people having the disease. In some states  it has doubled since 1990. It is also the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, both as a contributing or underlying cause. It isn’t always diagnosed right away, and many people remain uninformed about Diabetes as a whole and what causes it and how to manage it once you are diagnosed.

It is a chronic disease, so it is a disease one must manage throughout their life.  Some people are born with it, others develop it over the years.  There can be genetic as well as lifestyle contributions to Diabetes as well.  Diabetes deals with your body’s ability to process insulin, a hormone that processes sugar in the blood into usable energy.  There are two main types of Diabetes.

Type 1 is often diagnosed in childhood, and used to be called juvenile diabetes. This is a rarer type of diabetes and mainly deals with genetic causes.  In the cause of Type 1 your body doesn’t produce insulin at all, and usually requires insulin management.

Type 2 is more adult oriented and varies from insulin treatment to other medication to manage your sugar levels.  With Type 2, your body does not create enough insulin or is unable to use it effectively.  This can develop due to genetic reasons as well as lifestyle.  Like with Type 1, it requires active management, but the ways are more varied in nature.

If you would like to know more about Diabetes, or find a way to help in researching for its cause/treatment, I’ve provided some links below with more information.

I am of course not a medical professional, and you should always trust someone who is a medical professional over someone you read on the internet.  Doctors are your best references on this and other medical topics.

For more information:

The American Diabetes Association

The Mayo Clinic on Diabetes

 

Manchester

Yesterday, a terrorist killed 22 people, and injured 59 others in Manchester, England.  They were going about their business on a Monday Night, some having attended an Ariana Grande Concert at the Stadium when an explosion took place in the foyer of the building.  Some of them were even children, with at least 13 were under the age of 16, according to the BBC.  One of the dead is an 8 year old girl.

It’s hard to think of anything to post in light of that.  I refuse to talk about the person who committed these crimes – that is what they wanted.   I will talk about the wonderful citizens of that city who turned to each other and helped those who needed a place to stay, or a ride home.  Those in emergency services worked hard to make sure everyone who needed treatment got it, and investigate the cause.  These people are heroes.

My prayers and thoughts are with the city tonight, as they try to heal from this.  With the families of the victims, and the victims themselves.

If you want to help out, there is a Just Giving campaign ran by the Manchester Evening News to help raise money to help the victims of the attack.

BBC Page on the Manchester Attack is where I’m getting most of my information, along with friends who live in the Greater Manchester area.

May is…

May has a lot of observances and awareness connections.  I decided to write about some of them.  There are of course many other observances during May, so here is the list from Wiki if you want to explore more.  I am by no means an expert on any of these, so please research more on your own if you find yourself interested.

Awareness Month

May is set aside for the awareness of several diseases and causes.

Celiac Disease

Celiac (or Coeliac) disease is a autoimmune disease where the small intestine can not properly digest gluten.  It causes damage to the lining of villi, which help digest nutrients.  It can range from discomfort to great pain and other health problems.  This disease is probably getting more known due to gluten-free diet trends.  Gluten can be found in wheat, Rye and Barley.  It is a genetic disorder as well, so it runs in families.

More information:

Celiac.Org

Beyond Celiac.Org

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis is a serious genetic disorder that effects the major organs, particularly the lungs.  It is caused by a recessive gene mutation, which causes secretions like sweat, digestive fluids and particularly mucus to become thicker.  There is no cure for Cystic Fibrosis, just treatments to treat the symptoms.

More information

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Cystic Fibrosis – Mayo Clinic

Cystic Fibrosis (Wiki)

Mental Health Awareness Month

Awareness of Mental Heath issues is very important.  Misinformation, ignorance of treatment and other factors have led to people not getting the treatment they need, or choosing to refuse treatment because they don’t’ want to be treated poorly for having a mental health issue.  While societal views on mental illness have improved over the last few decades,we have far to go till its treated like any physical illness.

More information

Mental Health America.Net 

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Month Observances

National Pet Month  (US)

National Pet Month is basically a month to recognize the benefits that pets bring to our lives.  It is observed in April in the UK and in May in the US.  It also promotes pet adoption, and animal health.

National Pet Month.Org (UK)

Flores de Mayo

Flores de Mayo is a month long celebration in the Philippines.  It has its roots in Catholic devotions to Mary including daily offering of flowers.  On the last day of the month a pageant is held called the Santacruzan which honors events in Catholic history.  In particular, it celebrates the finding of the true cross by St. Helena.  Young women search for a hidden cross after attending a mass and the one who finds it is designated as Reyna Elena (St. Helena).

Flores de Mayo (Wiki)

Flores de Mayo & Santacruzan – Catholics & Cultures

Single Day/Week Observances

Cinco de Mayo (May 5)

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican-American holiday.  In Mexico, it is a day of observance on a a military victory over French Occupation.  It is usually observed with military parades.  In the United States however it has become a day to celebrate Mexican-AMerican culture.  There is debate on the ethical points of Cinco de Mayo in the United States, however, due to the fact that it was originally a Mexican holiday and the US celebration has nothing to do with the original Mexican.  Also it has a tendency to promote stereotypes and racial issues.

International Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Day (May 12)

Chronic Fatigue affects many people, though many go undiagnosed.  Sometimes it is a side effect of another illness, but it can be an issue on its own.  It is often hard to diagnose as there is no blood or lab test that can detect it.  Awareness and research can bring more answers to the cause of Chronic Fatigue

CDC- Chronic Fatigue Awareness Day

Mother’s Day  (May 14 in US)

There are several countries that celebrate Mother’s Day, and its on several different days of the month.  However, since I live in the US I choose to note the date that the US is celebrating.  I’ll be posting a separate post about this one when the day arrives.

Endangered Species  Day (May 19)

Endangered Species day is a day to recognize the efforts that are out there to protect the wildlife on our planet.  Many species have been lost in the last few decades alone, and there are many organizations out there trying to prevent more species from going from endangered to extinct.

US National Fish and Wildlife Service

Ramadan (May 26-June 25)

Ramadan is a religious observance by Muslims, and this year will start May 26/27.   I am by far no expert on Islamic traditions, so I do recommend googling Ramadan and finding out more on your own.  Ramadan is a religious rite that occurs for a month.  It involves daily fasting and focusing on the Quran, their holy book.

Ramadan (wiki)

BBC Religions: Ramadan

The Gaslighting of the Millennial Generation

I was in graduate school when I first heard the term “millennial.” It was at a conference. The session was about how to serve millennial students, because they have different characteri…

Source: The Gaslighting of the Millennial Generation

 

I’ve never before shared a post on WordPress, so hopefully this works as intended.  But I thought this was an interesting article.

This Day In History

When looking at my daily email about events in history on this day, I found out today in 1776, The Second Continential Congress voted to adopt the resolution of Independence from Great Britian.

The resolution was presented by Richard Henry Lee on June 7th, but due to some lingering doubts from some of the colonies, they decided to wait to vote on July 2nd.  In the meantime they set a group off the write up a declaration.  This group included John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, and of course Thomas Jefferson.  In the end Jefferson was selected to be the primary author (which is why he often gets credit but we don’t often hear about Sherman or Livingston).  They managed to present the declaration to Congress on June 28 for review.  Not bad, writing a document that will literally change the world in only three weeks.

Since I think most Americans (and probably alot of non-americans) can remember something about Adams Franklin and Jefferson (and not just that two are on our money) I googled the other two.

Roger Sherman is the only man to sign all the starter papers for the US  (The Continnental Association (which I just learned about today), The Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, and the Consitution.  He was greatly involved in the reorganization of the Connneticicut government and worked on developing guidelines for ambassadors, particularly those to Canada.  And according to Wikipedia, his Great-great grandson helped create the CIA.

Robert Livingston was the first Secratary of State (then called Secretary of Foriegn Affairs), and later as Ambassador to France.  It was then that he helped negociate the Louisana purchase, so a third of the country can thank him for being American and not French.  He also developed the first steamboat. He got the honor of swearing George Washington in as President.

On July 1st, Congress, like congress today, choose to debate the issue.  Unlike congress now, they unanimously voted for it, with only New York abstaining.  John Adams, according to History.com, thought that this would be the day we would celebrate.  In the end however, we celebrate the day they actually presented the Declaration to the public, July 4th.


Another key document was also signed today.  In 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law The Civil Rights Act.  It was something that John F. Kennedy had fought for and that Lyndon Johnson picked up after Kennedy was killed in 1963.  Still, I’m not entirely sure how someone uses 75 pens to sign ‘Lyndon B. Johnson’.  Even if he spelled out his middle name and the name of the country.

The Civil Rights Act prohibited discrimination against race in employment, education, and in public places such as buses, schools, parks, and pools.

 

The Amendments: Fifteen

SECTION 1

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

SECTION 2

The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

(Source)

This amendment is pretty straightforward.  It was passed by Congress in 1869, and ratified a year later.

Though the 14th amendment protected the right to vote, this adds to the law prohibiting restriction of voting.  It still does not include the right to vote to women, but it does give the right to vote to African-Americans as it was no longer legal to discriminate against race.

There are several amendments tied to prohibited discrimination against voters. the 14th, 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th amendments all relate to voting rights.

I found it interesting to learn that previous different states had different voting restrictions.  Some would allow all citizens (including women and free blacks) the right to vote, others would require you to own a certain amount of property.  The 14th & 15th amendments nationalized voting rights, outlawing most restrictions.

There is an argument now about Voter ID laws, and how they may or may not be constitutionally sound.  Some believe that this violates the 14th amendment, and possibly the 15th as it seems to unfairly target some groups within the community and in some places possible racial issues exist.

I’m personally neutral on that subject because on one hand I can see how those who don’t have easy access to the DMV would find it hard to get a state ID that could allow them to vote.  On the other hand, so much today requires an ID from writing checks to purchasing age-required items like Decongestant.  Its hard to imagine why someone wouldn’t have an ID.  But unless the state can guarantee easy access to get the ID, I don’t believe it should be a requirement to vote.  Especially considering that the so called fraud its meant to prevent is usually very rare and often enough is simply the result of typographical errors or someone having the same name as a deceased person and their SS# being wrong.

Related Reading:

Myth of Voter Fraud – Brennan Center for Justice

Voter Fraud: A Massive Anti-Democratic Deception – Forbes

Our Documents:  The 15th Amendment  – you can get to see the actual amendment document

Passing of the 15th Amendment – PBS (For a special on U.S. Grant)