Why Do We Celebrate Veterans Day?
Veterans Day actually began on November 11, 1919 but was called “Armistice Day”. The word “Armistice” means “a suspension of hostilities by agreement between the opponents” and referred, in this case, to the end of World War I. On May 13, 1938 Armistice Day became a legal Federal holiday dedicated to the idea of world peace and also became an occasion to honor the veterans who served in World War I.
On May 26, 1954 President Eisenhower signed a bill declaring that Armistice Day be expanded to honor all U.S. Veterans, not just those from World War I. In November of the same year Congress officially amended that bill by changing the word “Armistice” to “Veterans” and we still honor the service of all U.S. Veterans on Veterans Day each year.
Veterans Day is celebrated each year on November 11th unless that day falls on a weekend. If it’s a Sunday, we celebrate it on the 12th (Monday). If it falls on a Saturday, it can either be held on Saturday or the 10th (the preceding Friday).
While the name of the holiday is often written as “Veteran’s Day” (with an apostrophe), that is not the official spelling which contains no apostrophe. That makes sense if you consider that the holiday is not technically the Veteran’s day. It is a day for all of us to honor and thank Veterans for their service to us. For risking (and giving) their lives for our freedom.
Many countries have a moment of silence at 11:00 AM on November 11th as the Armistice of World War I was signed on November 11th at 11:00 AM (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month)!
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