Did you know Veterans Day was founded in Emporia, Kansas?
In 1953, Emporia shoe repairman Alvin J. King, who lost family in WWII, proposed that Armistice Day be changed to Veterans Day to recognize and honor all veterans from all wars and conflicts. King, and his wife Gertrude, helped raise a nephew, John E. Cooper, who was serving as part of the Third U.S. Army in Germany when he was killed in action on December 20, 1944.
Kansas Congressman Ed Rees, also an Emporian, took King’s proposal to Congress, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill proclaiming Nov. 11 as Veterans Day. Emporia celebrated the first Veterans Day on Nov. 11, 1953. The first nationwide observance was Nov. 11, 1954.
We extend our gratitude to our nation's Veterans. Thank you for your service.