On This Day, Thank a Veteran:
Too often we run around saying we “support the troops” or are grateful for living in this nation but never thank those who are responsible. November 11, 1919 was proclaimed “Armistice Day” to commemorate the end of the “Great War” now better known as World War I, on November 11, 1918; on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. It was thought at the time that there would never be a greater
conflict. By the 1940′s, it was evident that was not the case. In 1920 at the urging of church groups, President Wilson named the nearest Sunday to November 11 “Armistice Sunday.” In 1921, Congress approved the building of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery and designated November 11, 1921 as a Federal holiday for all who participated in the “Great War.” In 1926, Congress called on the President to give an address each Armistice Day and most states in the decade mark the occasion with a holiday.
Now, in 1938 Congress adopted November 11 as a Federal holiday. But, Congress only holds the power to grant Federal employees holidays. It’s up to the states to designate holidays but since most states already have the holiday, the Federal government really followed the states lead in contrast to most other national holidays in which the states follow the Fed’s lead. World War II and Korea come and go so President Eisenhower officially changed the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
For some reason, Congress in 1968 messed with the tradition. I don’t know if they were caught up in the turbulent 60′s or what but they decided to make the 4th Monday in October Veterans Day, taking effect in 1971. All the states moved their holidays except for Mississippi and South Dakota. By 1975, the majority of the states had moved it back to the original November 11. The Federal Government capitulated and changed the Federal holiday back, beginning with November 11, 1978. Not only was the day considered sacred at its inception, it somehow held that same position later in the 20th century because when the government tried to change it, the citizens through the state legislatures, basically told the Feds to shove off and returned it to its proper place. This is not Memorial Day, but if you choose to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation, then please do so. But, Veterans Day to me is for the living…so if you don’t go to a ceremony or church service today, take the time to thank a veteran. I do it everytime I meet someone who served. Like Mother’s Day, I don’t just tell my mother that I love her on Mother’s Day. In any event, it’s not hard, just reach out your hand and say “thank you.” They earned it.
Wet Week Upon Us: A system is ejecting very quickly out of the southern plains and will be spreading moisture all over the Ohio Valley on Tuesday through Wednesday. Thursday, it comes to an end before a strong cold front comes through Friday morning. Look for clouds and cold conditions over the weekend. It’s not totally out of the question that we may get a few insignificant snowflakes on Sunday morning.
What About the Warmer than Average Winter and the Melting Arctic Ice Cap? Now, this is still the autumn and a few cold days does not a season make….but remember a few days ago I posted that the outlook was for a warmer than average winter in our area. I did mention that it was a 40%-50% chance. We’ll see. Also, do you remember my hooting about the headlines that claimed that the Arctic Ice might melt away completely in 2008? Turns out the writer was either stupid, looking for headlines or had an agenda because that is not what the researchers said. One guy said it was possible but no one forecast that. They had kids crying for polar bears and Santa Claus. Well, as it turns out, the ice over the Arctic actually increased rather significantly this summer. But, instead of saying that the ice increased, the headlines said that it was the second smallest amount of Arctic Ice on record, which was true. But saying that would have made the previous headlines look foolish and also perhaps make eyebrows raise about Global Warming.
Well, now it seems that the summer low of September 14 was about 1.74 million square miles. By October 31, the ice covered some 3.5 million square miles. In 6 weeks, the sea-ice doubled in size. That marks a near-record ice growth rate. If you see some stories talking about how the temperatures rose quickly in the Arctic in October, make sure that you understand that it’s normal. When ice forms in the ocean, the ocean releases heat into the atmosphere. So, if you have rapid ice formation, you get an increase in air temperatures. What is interesting is that there was more sea-ice at the end of the spring than anticipated. Then, there was a record ice loss in the late summer followed by a near record ice growth in the early fall. The National Snow and Ice Center (Full Monthly NSIC Report) concludes its monthly report by saying that what we are seeing has never been observed before. I think it’s safe to say that the IPCC computers didn’t predict this and shows what I have been saying all along. We don’t know enough to be making proclamations. Al Gore had no business saying that “the debate is over.” That is utter nonsense. We need, as humans, to show some humility and say that we don’t know everything and in the big scheme of things, probably don’t know much. It will be interesting to see how the winter shakes out for us weather wise and for the polar bears in the Arctic.