November 11 is Veterans Day. It is a National holiday to honor those who have served in our military.
It is called Veterans Day because we are showing respect for our veterans. It is not Veterans' Day or Veteran's Day.
Veterans Day should not be confused with Memorial Day. Memorial Day originated to honor fallen service members. They are the ones who did not come back alive.
It was originally called Armistice Day to commemorate the truce called months before the actual end of World War I. The truce began on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
In 1919 President Woodrow Wilson declared a celebration for November 11 for parades and speeches to begin at 11:00 AM.
In 1926 Congress passed a resolution stating that "the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations". Twenty-seven sates had already designated November 11 as a holiday. With the signature of the President it became a national holiday. The United States flag was to be flown on all federal buildings. Schools and churches and other gathering places were encouraged to participate.
In 1938 Armistice Day became a recurring holiday to honor the veterans. In 1954 at the urging of service members Congress amended the 1938 Act to include veterans from all wars not just World War I. That same year President Eisenhower changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day.
The Uniform Holiday Bill was signed in 1968. Trying to extend holiday time off several holidays were to be celebrated on Mondays. The first observation of Veterans Day on the fourth Monday of October in 1971. It was so confusing that President Ford changed it back to November 11, 1975.
Traditionally there are parades, speeches, and other celebrations on November 11. Government offices are closed. The President will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.
This year most places will not have the conventional parades and gatherings. COVID-19 has restricted a lot of public activities. Maybe next year.
My father was a proud veteran of World War II. Several other family members have served our country. On Veterans Day I will remember them all.