Veterans Day is a sacred American holiday celebrated with somber remembrances and expressions of appreciation for those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. We honor all of the men and women who have served in the various branches of the military and appreciate your sacrifice for our country.
November 11, Armistice Day, marked the end of World War I. On “the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” in a forest near the French city of Compiègne, French, British, and German leaders met and signed an armistice that officially ended “the war to end all wars” that claimed the lives of more than 16 million people over four years.
In the United States, Veterans Day is usually observed on November 11. Because it is a federal holiday, government offices, including the Post Office, will be closed.
To hear the official Veterans Affairs march Salute to Veterans, composed by COL Eugene W. Allen and performed by The United States Army Band, Pershing’s Own, click here.
Some Background on Armistice Day and Veterans Day
President Woodrow Wilson originally proclaimed November 11, 1919, as Armistice Day to honor the country’s servicemen who served during World War I. The date wouldn’t become a National Holiday until a Congressional Act in 1938 made it so. It would remain a holiday for this select group of soldiers, sailors, and marines until President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill that expanded its intention to celebrate the service of all servicemen and servicewomen from every American war.
It would remain known as Armistice Day for the next 35 years until Congress decided to change its name to Veterans Day on June 1st, 1954. Its name has remained unchanged ever since. The date of its celebration has also remained unchanged, except for a brief period of seven years when it was changed to the fourth Monday of every October in 1971 to make sure that it complied with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This decision was eventually be reversed in 1978 and this holiday has been celebrated on November 11 ever since.
(Image credit: Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash)