Clay Aiken – Proud To Be An American

Clay Aiken

In 1918, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month, the world rejoiced and celebrated. After four years of bitter war, the Allied powers  signed a cease-fire agreement (an armistice) with Germany at Rethondes, France on November 11, 1918, bringing World War I to a close. The “war to end all wars” was over.

November 11, 1919 was set aside as Armistice Day in the United States, to remember the sacrifices that men and women made during World War I in order to ensure a lasting peace. On Armistice Day, soldiers who survived the war marched in a parade through their home towns. Politicians and veteran officers gave speeches and held ceremonies of thanks for the peace they had won.

Armistice Day officially received its name in the United States in 1926 through a Congressional resolution. It became a national holiday 12 years later. Congress voted Armistice Day a federal holiday in 1938, 20 years after the war ended. But Americans realized that the previous war would not be the last one. World War II began the following year and nations great and small again participated in a bloody struggle. After the Second World War, Armistice Day continued to be observed on November 11.

In 1953, townspeople in Emporia, Kansas called the holiday Veterans Day in gratitude to the veterans in their town. Soon after, Congress passed a bill introduced by a Kansas congressman renaming the federal holiday to Veterans Day. Beginning in 1954, the United States designated November 11 as Veterans Day to honor veterans of all U.S. wars. 1971 President Nixon declared it a federal holiday on the second Monday in November.

Clay Aiken

Americans still give thanks for peace on Veterans Day. There are ceremonies and speeches and at 11:00 in the morning, most Americans observe a moment of silence, remembering those who fought for peace.  There are special services that take place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery

Veterans of military service have organized support groups such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. On Veterans Day and Memorial Day, these groups raise funds for their charitable activities by selling paper poppies made by disabled veterans. This bright red wildflower became a symbol of World War I after a bloody battle in a field of poppies called Flanders Field in Belgium.

In Flanders Fields
by Colonel John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

What is Clay Aiken doing this Veterans Day?  Where ever he is or what ever he is doing, I am sure he will acknowledge the importance of the day and begin to teach his young son about patriotism.

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11 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – Proud To Be An American

  1. What a lovely post….very moving!!

    I love the picture of Clay. I have never seen it before. WHere did it come from??

  2. Nice article…thank you CANN.

    I'm sure Clay will teach his son well, and Brett being in the services will have extra meaning to Rememberance Day..

    Mike..not sure which picture you're asking about. The one with Clay on stage is from the AI Tour back in 2003.


  3. I just love coming here, the information alone is worth it. Thank you for the history lesson. I didn't know the significance of the poppy. Happy Veterans Day to all our Military past and present.

  4. Very informative and moving! Thanks for "In Flanders Field". I say "thank you" today to all our Veterans and military who watch so we can live in peace! Loved the pictures of Clay and also believe he will teach his son about patiotism and those who fought and are fighting for our freedom. Thank you for this article! MAE

  5. Thank you for the informative article. I honor all the men and women from the Armed Forces who have fought for this great country.

    I am sure Clay will teach his son all about Veterans Day. He will also make sure he tells him about his Uncle Brett.

  6. Thank you, musicfan, for all the hard work you put in researching these informative, interesting articles. Thanks, too, for the great patriotic pictures of Clay Aiken!! I was just listening today to the AI2 crew singing Proud to be an American on my iPod. What a great job they all did on that song!!

  7. Musicfan…….very nice and lots of information. I like seeing the cute picture of young Clay. I wonder how old he is in that picture.

  8. Thank you for the informative Veteran's Day blog. I appreciate the time and work you and others put into these blogs.

  9. What a beautiful moving blog! Thank you! Thanks also for the hard work you consistently put into CANN.

  10. Thanks for the great article! Sometimes we all need a reminder of how lucky we are to be living in America.

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