Every year on November 11, Americans pay their respects to the veterans who fought for this country. People celebrate Veterans Day in a variety of ways ranging from barbeques and parades to just taking the day off. But how did this American holiday begin? The history of this national holiday dates back to what was known as The Great War.
Today, we know it as World War I. The Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, officially putting an end to the war. But actually fighting had ceased seven months before when an armistice was agreed upon between the Allied nations and Germany. The armistice went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month putting an end to “the war to end all wars.”
The holiday was put into place by President Wilson in November 1919 as a day to remember the armistice that put an end to the fighting in addition to all of the heroism and solemn pride portrayed by those who put their lives on the line during the war. On May 13, 1938, this day of remembrance was made a legal holiday dedicated to the cause of world peace. It was known as Armistice Day
Originally, Armistice Day was observed with parades, public meetings, and a brief moment of silence beginning at 11 am. The day was set aside to honor veterans of World War I but after the end of World War II, being the greatest mobilization of military forces in the Nation’s history, and the fighting that took place in Korea, veterans called for a change. So by amending the Act that put Armistice Day into place, on June 1, 1954, November 11th became known as Veterans Day, a day to honor American veterans from all wars.
So everyone out there who enjoys the freedom that this country has to offer, please take a moment to remember those who put their lives on the line for their country and for the common good.
Happy Veterans Day Everyone!