Veterans Day is a day to reflect on the sacrifice and courage of all U.S. Veterans. It is the day that our country honors and thanks those men and women for their service.
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
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.
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 changed its name to Veterans Day on June 1st, 1954. That name has remained unchanged ever since. The date of the Veterans Day 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 reversed in 1978 and this holiday has been celebrated on November 11 ever since.
(Image credit: Free Animations-clipart)