The history of Veterans Day began with the end of the World War I. Back then in 1918, on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 p.m., the war between Germany and the Allied Nations was officially over and in 1919 this day was celebrated as Armistice Day for the first time. Even though the Versailles Treaty was signed only during the summer of 1919, in the minds of public, 11th of November 1918 remained the date that marked the end of World War I. At those times it was called “the Great War,” because no one knew that even a greater war is coming in twenty years. In 1926, Congress has created a resolution which made the 11th of November a recurring anniversary aimed to commemorate all soldiers for their heroic acts during the World War I. Only twelve years later, it became a federal holiday celebrated by all states. In 1938, it was still called the Armistice Day, however it was about to change.
In 1941 World War II broke out, and it was far more horrible and devastating than the World War I. During this war, Americans faced the greatest mobilization of Navy, Marines, and Air Force in history. After the heroic acts and sacrifice of American soldiers during the World War II and the Korean War, the word “Armistice” was changed to “Veterans” in 1954 in order to honor soldiers and military personnel that contributed to both wars.
Next stage in the development of this holiday was in 1968 when Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by the Congress. It supposed three-day weekend that should encourage tourism and was dedicated to the celebration of Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Columbus Day, and Washington’s Birthday. There was also a try to move Veterans Day to the 4th of October, but many states refused to follow this novelty and because of the confusion the date of celebration was moved back to the 11th of November in 1978.
How is Veterans Day celebrated today? It’s appropriate to mention that not only the US is celebrating Veterans Day, but also such countries as Australia, Canada, France, and Britain also commemorate their soldiers on the 11th of November. While names are different in each country, the essence of the holiday remains the same.
In the US the Veterans Day is celebrated by parades, speeches, and thanksgivings.