Today is the 11th of November, and most of the offices and educational institutions in the U.S are closed. This is the first time I heard of the Veterans Day. I had no idea about what it was or why these educational institutions and offices were closed. So I went to find out and here is what I came to know. An Act approved on May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday. This day was not always the Veteran’s Day in History. It was basically to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day for November 11, 1919.
So how did the word change from Armistice to Veteran? In 1954, the veterans service organizations urged the 83rd Congress, to amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans. Why? Because the World War II had mobilized the greatest number of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen in the U.S history, so it was felt that this day should be observed in honoring all veterans.
On June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars after the approval of the legislation (Public Law 380).
Here is President Eisenhower’s letter to the Honorable Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), designating him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.
Since I was waiting for a bracelet which I had ordered online so I’d go to check my mailbox almost everyday, but on this day, I came to know that mail is not delivered, all federal workers are paid for this holiday, and then those who decide to work or have to go to work on this day are paid double the amount as any other working day.
What a wonderful way to remember and value the people who defend your country, I thought to myself. A sign of great nations. Never to forget the people who serve you. To honor the ones who protect you while you sleep comfortably in your homes.
“History of Veterans Day”. United States Department of Veterans Affairs. 2007-11-26. Retrieved 2008-11-06.
Veterans Day Frequently Asked Questions, Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Updated 2015-07-20. Retrieved 2015-11-08.