News Column

November 11 Is Veterans Day

Nov. 7, 2011


Veterans Day, november 11

The history of Veterans Day, which the country observes on November 11, is a sober one. Armistice Day, which brought to an end most of the hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany during World War I, took place on "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918. One year later, President Woodrow Wilson commemorated Armistice Day by saying:

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations..."

In 1926, Congress passed a resolution requesting that the president: "issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples."

With the proclamation in place, the next evolution in the creation of Veterans involved an Act approved on May 13, 1938, which made Armistice Day a legal holiday, or, as the Veterans Affairs Department puts it, "primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I." However, with the immensity of the wars that followed -- World War II and the Korean War -- Congress amended the 1938 Act by changing the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day, in which the country would honor veterans of all wars, not just WWI. The legislation was approved June 1, 1954.

Source: (c) 2011. All rights reserved.

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