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February 7, 2000

UC announces plans for holiday to commemorate Veterans Day

By Trey Davis
UC Office of the President

The University of California will honor the service and sacrifice of the nation's war veterans by designating Veterans Day, Nov. 11, as one of its official holidays beginning this year, President Richard C. Atkinson announced in early February.

"California's veterans have contributed immeasurably to the welfare of the state and the nation," Atkinson said. "As president of the University of California and as a veteran, I am doubly pleased that UC will honor their service and their sacrifice by observing Veterans Day as an official university holiday."

In years where Nov. 11 falls on a Saturday, the preceding Friday will be observed by faculty and staff. If the date falls on a Sunday, the holiday will be observed on the following Monday. This practice corresponds with the dates set for observing Veterans Day in California's public schools.

Veterans Day honors those who served with the U.S. armed forces in times of war. First known as Armistice Day, the date marked the anniversary of the 1918 peace treaty signed on the 11th hour of Nov. 11 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month) to end World War I. Through a Congressional resolution, it became a national holiday in 1938. In 1954, in recognition of the role played by veterans of WW II and Korea in defending peace, President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming Nov. 11 as Veterans Day to honor all the men and women who have served in war.

There are 25 million veterans living today, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

University holidays currently include New Year's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and a winter (late December) and a spring administrative holiday.

University holidays are among the terms and conditions of employment governed by collective bargaining agreements for unionized employees; therefore, the university has proposed to those unions that Veterans Day be observed.

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