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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Brief History of Veterans Day

Today marks the 96th year that Veterans Day has been officially recognized in the U.S. as a day to remember and honor those who have served in the military. This day was originally called Armistice Day. It was changed to Veterans Day in 1954.
 [Disclaimer: The following information is taken mostly verbatim from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website:]

World War I, which was known at the time as “The Great War”, officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

Furthermore, the original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "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…"

The Uniform Holiday Bill was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. With regards to Veterans Day moving to a Monday observance, this turned out to be an increasingly unpopular situation over the years. So, on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978.

 The official spelling of this day is without the apostrophe, because, " is not a day that 'belongs' to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans."

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Until next time,


Writing the West, one romance at a time


  1. Great blog, Kaye. Didn't know about the apostrophe thing, so thanks for reminding us.

  2. Sarah,

    Thanks for commenting, Sarah. There are a few veterans in my family, so it is certainly a day that means a little something extra to me. I put out my flag, which I know isn't much, but my heart is in it, that's for sure. My oldest son was in the air force for 10 years (survival trainer). I had several military uncles: a 'lifer' in the air force (pilot); one in the navy; one army; another a marine. My father-in-law (still living) was a marine at Pearl Harbor (after the bombing).

  3. Great post Kaye! Thanks for enlightening me.

    1. Kristy,

      I hadn't known about the missing apostrophe until I did this little bit of research. Makes sense. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Thank you Kaye and thank you to all who have served over the years. Doris McCraw/Angela Raines-author

  5. Doris, Thanks for visiting and commenting. :-)

  6. I am happy to see this holiday getting greater recognition each year and including all veterans no matter when and where they served. After working for the USPS for years, I was well aware it was a federal holiday. But, back in the dinosaur days when I worked for the bank, we never got the day off, so I merrily went to the bank today to only discover it was a wasted trip. I don't recall my children getting this holiday off school, but they do now. I am grateful to those who have served our nation, and look forward to this holiday -- especially since I no longer need to deliver two days of mail (many businesses do not close and still generate mail on Veterans Day,) on November 12th. :-)

    1. Zina,

      I understand exactly what you mean. Our little community takes this day to heart and the school has special commemorative activities that many people outside of the school come in to participate with the students and staff.