News from the Reference Desk Category: Holiday

Celebrating Veterans Day

Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, was first set as a U.S. legal holiday to recognize the end of World War I.  This “armistice” took place on November 11, 1918.  In 1938 legislation was past to formally dedicate November 11 to the “cause of world peace.”  With the urging of veterans organizations, the U.S. Congress amended the Act of 1938, replacing “Armistice” with the word “Veterans.”  On June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor all American veterans.  In 1968 Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October.  This move was highly unpopular so in 1975 the annual observance of Veterans Day was moved again to November 11.  A more complete history of this holiday can be found here at the website of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Many Mount Prospect natives have served in the military over the past 100 years.  There are some artifacts of this service in the online collection Dimensions of Life in Mount Prospect.  Among them are a World War I gas mask, a World War I uniform jacket and helmet, and the stole of a local World War II chaplain. 

On November 11 of this year, Mount Prospect will honor veterans in a free program to be held at Lions Park Recreation Center beginning at 10:30 AM.

Holiday Safety Tips

Some tips from the National Safety Council for over the holidays to keep you safe as you decorate:

  • – Avoid setting your tree up to close to a fireplace, radiator, or other heat source
  • – Plug no more than 3 strings of lights into one extension cord
  • – Be sure the lights your using indoors are specifically for this purpose, same for outdoor lights.  Inspect old strings of lights for frayed wires, broken lights, etc.
  • – Turn off lights on trees and decorations before going to bed or leaving the house
  • – During your holiday celebrations be sure to freeze or refrigerate food two hours after cooking
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Flying the Flag – the right way!

It’s that time of year, when Old Glory is proudly displayed.  The United States Flag is one of the most visible and important symbols of our country and the United States Flag Code spells out proper use of the flag.

From a staff, the union (the blue field) should be at the peak, unless the flag is being flown at half-staff.  No other flag should be placed above or to the right of the American flag. The flag can also be displayed vertically, hanging flat so the folds fall free. The union should be uppermost to the flag’s own right (the observer’s left.)

Customarily, the flag is flown from sunrise to sunset, although it may be flown 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during night hours.  Proper illumination is a light specifically for the flag (preferred) or a light source in the area that allows the flag to be identifiable. The flag should not be flown in inclement weather, unless it is made of all-weather material (many are.)

The flag should not touch the ground or be used for draping or decoration. No part of the flag should be used as a costume, in clothing, or for advertising purposes.  Lapel pins are allowed and should always be worn on the left near the heart.

When a flag becomes too worn to display, it should be respectfully disposed of, preferably by burning.  American Legion Post 36 and VFW Post 2992 host an annual Flag Day (June 14) ceremonial burning of worn flags. For more information on displaying the flag, visit the American Legion website at http://www.legion.org/flag/code .