Veterans Day Through the Years
Veterans Day is a holiday that is widely known as a day to recognize our veterans and their service to our country. While that is accurate, it actually has much more meaning and history than many of us may realize. The holiday originated as Armistice Day to mark the end of fighting between the Allied nations and Germany during World War I. The cease-fire happened at 11:00 AM on November 11th of 1918. This is why November 11th is always the holiday, regardless of which day of the week it falls on.
President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the day as Armistice Day in 1919 with the intention to honor the Veterans of World War I with parades and other activities, but it did not become a legal federal holiday until 1938.
Congress passed a resolution in June 1926 that said the U.S. President should commemorate the day each year with a proclamation calling for the U.S. flag to be displayed on all government buildings and for the people of the U.S. to recognize the day with appropriate activities to honor those veterans. This is a practice that is still followed today.
It was in 1954 that the name of the day was changed to Veterans Day to also recognize those who fought in World War II and the Korean War. That is also when Congress formally expanded it to a day to recognize all Veterans of all U.S. wars, not just the people who gave their lives during military service.
As with all federal holidays, if the designated day falls on a Saturday, it is recognized nationally on Friday. When the day falls on a Sunday, it will be recognized the following Monday. This year November 11th is a Saturday, so look for recognition at schools some organizations on Friday the 10th. Parades and other activities could take place Friday or Saturday this year.
We hope that giving some insight to this holiday will help appreciate what the day really means to our country. This holiday reminds us to thank all of those who have served in the past, and currently serve in all branches of our military.