Many Americans know Veteran’s Day did not become an official holiday until 1954. However, some may not know it originally stemmed from Armistice Day. This being a solemn day, observed by World War 1 Allied Powers, to remember those who died in the Great War.
After an armistice between the Allied Nations and Germany was signed on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, fighting ended.
Seven months later, the Versailles Treaty was signed. Thus, officially ending the war. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson designated November 11th as Armistice Day, to commemorate the lives of Americans lost in World War 1. This holiday was separate from Memorial Day, which was known as Decoration Day at the time.
Twenty-one years later, America saw its greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines in the nation’s history during World War 2. Countless men dedicated their lives to service, and over 400,000 made the ultimate sacrifice.
Shortly after the war was thankfully brought to an end, World War 2 Veteran Raymond Weeks came up with the idea to change Armistice Day to a celebration of all of America’s Veterans.
In 1947, Weeks officially proposed this idea in Washington, D.C. Seven years later, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation, making November 11th Veterans Day.
In 1982, Weeks was granted the Presidential Citizenship Medal by President Ronald Reagan, and dubbed the “Father of Veteran’s Day.”
Many Americans still recognize Armistice Day, and give their sentiments to family, and friends living in other countries. Particularly those who migrated from Allied nations, or served with various allied partners during various wars.