Today, and every November 11th, we take a day to honor all those who have served in our military. This day is often confused with Memorial Day (check out our Memorial Day blog for those facts!), but they are quite different. Let’s take a closer look!
- Unlike many other federal holidays, Veterans Day is not based off of the day of a week, it’s always on November 11th. November 11th marks the day that major combat in WWI ended.
- Originally named Armistice Day by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, it wasn’t made a federal holiday until 1938.
- Its original intent was to honor veterans of WWI who lost their lives. This remained until 1945 when Raymond Weeks, a WWII veteran, suggested it honor all veterans – alive or deceased, and not just WWI.
- The first national celebration of Veterans Day was in 1947, while it was still known as Armistice Day. 7 years later in 1954, it legally became Veterans Day.
- For the majority of its tenure, it has been observed on November 11th. For a few years, starting in 1971, it was moved to the fourth Monday in October, only to be moved back in 1978.
- In 1921, a soldier whose identity was unknown was buried in Arlington Cemetery on November 11th. This is now known as the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, which is a focal point of Veterans Day observances. Each year, the president or high-ranking member of government, lays a wreath on the grave.
Thank you to all those who have served our country. Your sacrifice and service is appreciated more than we can describe.