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The History of Veterans Day

By Keira Flowers

Have you ever wondered how a holiday came to be? Well, let’s talk about Veterans Day; it’s a holiday in which we give thanks and prayers to the people that risked their lives going to war. Every November 11, we celebrate the signed armistice of the ending of World War I, for people who risked their lives fighting The Great War, and people who are contributing in wars today.

How did this holiday come to be? Well, In WWI, The Great War, a Treaty of Versailles was signed by the 28th President Woodrow Wilson on June 28, 1919 in the Palace of Versailles just outside of the town.

The Treaty of Versailles represented “peace”, and showed the truce the countries had to end WWI. Although the fighting had ended seven months earlier after the war came to an end, the Allied nations and Germany went to fight on the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month which is why November 11th, is the day we call Veterans Day.

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…" - November 1919, President Wilson

This holiday was first celebrated as the “Armistice Day” but in 1954 after World War II had taken place, the 83rd congress had amended the Act of 1938 where they replaced the word ‘armistice’ with the word Veterans. On June 1, 1954, the date November 11 was officially named “Veterans Day”. After some time however, they changed the holiday to be on a Monday, along with the three other national holidays Columbus Day, George Washington's Birthday, and Memorial Day. They did this with the intent of federal employees having a three day weekend and was said so they could possibly encourage travel and cultural activities. A lot of people didn’t agree with the date change so most would stick to the original dates.

Luckily, a lot of people were confused as to when the actual holiday stood, so on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a public law in which he returned the holiday back to its original date.

Every November 11, we honor those who have fought in the war and those who have lost their lives. The veterans among us are much appreciated for their service.

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