Today we celebrate Veterans Day, a day to honor and remember war veterans – the brave men and women who served our country and protected us. But did you know what we’re commemorating today? Let’s dig deeper to find out how this federal holiday has evolved and has changed the entire world as we know it:
‘Trivia: Veterans Day does not include an apostrophe but includes an ‘s’ at the end of the word veteran because the day does not belong to the veterans, it is the day of honoring them.
Veterans Day as Armistice Day
Armistice originated from the era of World Wars, wherein both parties temporarily cease hostilities to undergo peace negotiations. The most renowned Armistice with Germany, it was in November 11, 1918 at 11:00 am and that ended World War I. In 1919, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed “Armistice Day” as a holiday followed by an act approved by the U.S. Congress in 1938, where they asked the then U.S. President Calvin Coolidge to observe November 11th with appropriate ceremonies. This was the first time that “Armistice Day” was declared as a legal holiday and a day to celebrate the cause of world peace.
After World War II, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower issued a declaration in 1954 known as the first “Veterans Day Proclamation”. At that time U.S had the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen in the Nation’s history battling the aggression in Korea; the 83rd U.S. Congress was urged by some veterans’ service organizations to amend the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.”
Trivia: Don’t confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. Military veterans alive or dead while Memorial Day is a day dedicated to remember the men and women who sacrificed their life and died while in service.
Observance of Veterans Day
Every 11th day of November each year, Veterans Day Ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The ceremony commences at exactly 11:00 am with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and then continues at the Memorial Ampitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations.
U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower signing the “Veterans Day Proclamation” in 1954