November 11 is a day to honor all of those who have served our country. According to the U.S. Government’s Veteran’s Affairs Web site, Veteran’s Day is “a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.” Although many of us understand that it is an observance of our veterans, we haven’t been exposed to the history behind this day.
The Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, effectively ending World War I. However the fighting ceased on November 11, 1918. Thus November 11 was recognized as Armistice Day to honor the end of World War I. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919 as the first Armistice Day. Armistice Day became a legal holiday in 1938. This legal holiday was originally designated to honor the veterans of World War I. In 1954, after World War II, the name of the holiday was changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor the veterans of both wars.
After the Uniform Holiday Bill was signed in 1968, Veteran’s Day was moved to October 25. However this caused confusion and, in 1975, President Ford signed a Public Law that moved Veteran’s Day back to November 11 beginning in 1978.
Veteran’s Day ceremonies are held in regional sites selected by the Veteran’s Day National Committee. The Veteran Day National Ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
For more information about Veteran’s Day, click here.
Information taken from the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs Web site