Veterans Day originated on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. It was originally called Armistice Day and was later renamed. Unlike Memorial Day, the purpose of Veterans Day is to honor all American vets whether living or dead, but it’s especially to give thanks to living veterans.
So, who specifically created Veterans Day?
I guess you could say it all started when President Woodrow Wilson declared it “Armistice Day,” on the first anniversary of the first world war.
In the declaration, he said, “…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…”
It’s in the evolution of that original declaration that you see the rest of the story.
After this, Congress passed the resolution in 1926 for the annual tradition and it became a national holiday in 1938.
The story went further when in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
In 1971, the holiday moved to the fourth Monday in October but switched back in 1975.
Finally, it all settled down as Veterans Day back on the 11th of November as it is to this day. In addition, other countries like Belgium, Canada, England, and France use the same date to honor their veterans too. France calls it Armistice Day and Canada calls it Remembrance Day. Britain does the date slightly differently and is using the second Sunday.
In fact, now almost 100 years later, we are still following the same tradition. On November 11, specifically at 11 am, we will mark an hour of silence to honor all Veterans.