On Monday, November 11th, the United States observed Veteran’s Day. This is an annual American holiday honoring the 18.2 million military veterans in our country. Both a federal and state holiday in all states, it is usually observed on November 11th. However, if it occurs on a weekend it is observed on the nearest week day. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world on November 11th, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)
President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. The United States Congress passed a concurrent resolution seven years later on June 4, 1926, requesting the President issue another proclamation to observe November 11th with appropriate ceremonies. An Act approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday; a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.”
In 1953, in Emporia, Kansas, a shoe owner named Al King had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who served in World War I. President Dwight Eisenhower signed this into law on May 26, 1954. Congress amended this act on November 8, 1954, replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans”, and it has been known as Veteran’s Day ever since.
On November 11th, please take the time to reflect on and be thankful for our veterans. Remember all they have sacrificed.