November 11 is celebrated annually as Veterans’ Day, a day when we honor the brave men and women who serve our country.
The story of Veterans Day is shared on the Department of Veterans Affairs website. The significance of November 11 goes back to the First World War, which officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, on June 28, 1919.
The war, however, had already ended even before that date. Seven months before, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between Germany and the Allied countries, commenced on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month: November 11, 1918.
November 11 was proclaimed by President Wilson in 1919 as Armistice Day, saying: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
November 11 was declared a legal holiday in 1938. After the Second World War and the Korean War, the 83rd Congress, in 1954, declared November 11th as a day to honor American veterans of all wars. On October 8, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation; he then designated then Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs, Harvey Higley, as the Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.