Veterans Day, previously known as Armistice Day, dates all the way back to November 11, 1918. Today it’s a National holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars but the history behind the holiday is not widely known.
In 1918, during World War I, a temporary cessation of hostilities was declared between the Allied nations and Germany on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The Treaty of Versailles, the official end of World War I, was not signed until June of 1919 but that moment of peace the year prior is what remained in the forefront of the public’s memories. Many feel as though that hour of peace on November 11, 1918 was the end of the war. In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th the first Armistice Day. To add to the emblematic nature of the day, on November 11, 1921, the unidentified soldier was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.
On June 4, 1926, Congress passed a resolution that the “recurring anniversary of [November 11, 1918] should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations,” and that the president should issue an annual proclamation calling for the observance of Armistice Day. – History.com
It wasn’t until 1954 that the 83rd U.S. Congress amended the 1938 act that made Armistice Day a holiday to instead be called Veterans Day. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the legislation on June 1, 1954 directing that November 11th was a day to celebrate and honor American veterans of all wars.
It’s important to point out that Veterans Day and Memorial Day (in the month of May) are not the same. Memorial Day is to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while in service to their country. Veterans Day is a day to pay tribute to all American veterans, alive or dead, for serving their country.
For me, Veterans Day is a day of looking back. I remember those who I have served with…the brother and sisters in arms who had my back always. It’s a day to cherish the dedication that our service members, past and present, have for their country. It’s a day of knowing that no matter what is going on, these brave men and women stepped up and signed the dotted line to lay their lives on the line for every person in America.
Veterans Day is a special day to me. It’s a day that my husband, my uncles, my cousins, and I share. We are a family of veterans and that is something I am especially proud of. My time in service wasn’t the easiest and I still suffer from PTSD but I wouldn’t change it even if I could. I am proud to call myself a veteran! I’m also proud to say that my husband is still serving his country. The pride you have for the veterans in your life is always present but on this day, on Veterans Day, it is exceptionally present.
I ask you to pay tribute to all the American veterans, past and present, this Veterans Day. Take a moment of silence at 11 am on Saturday, November 11th. The brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces deserve your tribute and thanks.
For those of you that I served with, I want to personally thank you for having my back. I want to thank you for your sacrifice and know that I will always consider you all family. Celebrate today and know that you have done a great job. The country is forever in the debt of each and every member of the Armed Forces….past, present, alive or resting in peace.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart! God Bless you and our country! <3