(WETM) – We are honoring 19 million U.S. veterans today, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. So what is the history of how we came to honor our veterans on this day?
On Veterans Day we pay a tribute to the patriots who answered the call to serve and commemorate the sacrifices they have made for this country.
Americans have served in the war and fought for this country for generations, but the holiday actually holds its origins to a very specific moment in history when the fighting had stopped.
On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, the fighting in World War I ended on November 11th, 1918.
A cease-fire, also known as an armistice, occurred in Europe, between the Allied Nations and Germany. This is why Veterans Day was originally proclaimed “Armistice Day” one year later in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson.
Armistice Day was signed into law as a legal holiday in 1938 but primarily set aside to honor only World War I veterans.
In 1954, following World War II and the Korean War in which American forces were deployed, the holiday was renamed Veterans Day to honor all veterans.