As the days grow shorter and the weather grows colder, it becomes clear that the holiday season will soon be upon us and the interim committee period will come to a close here in Frankfort. However, before Thanksgiving arrives and the season of shopping begins, we have an important upcoming holiday we should all observe: Veterans Day.
In 1919, to commemorate the end of the First World War, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 to be Armistice Day. President Wilson stated that the day would be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory.” Armistice Day did not become a legal holiday until it was officially ratified by Congress in 1938. In 1954, after the United States participated in more armed conflict in both World War II and Korea, Congress changed the name to Veterans Day in order to honor all former soldiers and related associations.
Today, we celebrate this holiday with many businesses across the country closing in observance of the hardships our nation’s finest endure. While many of you will surely enjoy the day off, I would encourage you to take a moment to reflect upon the efforts of our men and women in uniform, both past and present. If your local community is hosting a Veterans Day parade, as many do, I strongly encourage you to attend and let those individuals see your appreciation in person. Small gestures go a long way.
During the 2019 Regular Session in the General Assembly, we passed five bills aimed at aiding our veterans. The Senate sponsored two of those bills. Senate Bill (SB) 55, sponsored by Sen. C.B. Embry, expanded the definition of a Golden Alert to define the search for a veteran at risk as a Green Alert. SB 178, sponsored by Sen. Mike Wilson, allows the Kentucky Historical Society to implement advisory committees it deems necessary in order to carry out administration of the Military History Museum. The Senate Standing Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection is always looking to produce great legislation like the bills passed last session, and there will surely be more when the General Assembly reconvenes in January.
While the interim is coming to a close and our joint committees are preparing for the last meetings of the year, the Senate is actively preparing for the 2020 Regular Session. If you have any questions or concerns regarding what to expect or what you would like to see discussed when the General Assembly reconvenes, please feel free to reach out to my office and let your voice be heard. As always, it is an honor to represent you in Frankfort.
If you have any questions or comments about these issues or any other public policy issue, please call me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at Phillip.Wheeler@LRC.ky.gov. You can also review the Legislature’s work online at www.legislature.ky.gov