On November 11, 1918 at 11am, an armistice between the Allied powers and Germany went into effect. Though this wasn’t the official end of World War I (that happened later with the Treaty of Versailles, this was the end of the fighting.
Around the world, today is celebrated as Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, and, here in the United States, Veterans Day. Not surprisingly, the United States is a bit different with how we celebrate November 11th. In countries that celebrate Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, today is a day to honor those who have lost their lives in battle. In the decades immediately following WWI, the United States marked the day in a similar way. In the 1950’s, however, to honor the huge number of American soldiers who had fought in WWII and Korea, the day was changed to honor the service of all Veterans.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Day is “A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”
Of course, we haven’t forgotten our fallen military members. They are recognized both today and on Memorial Day in May.
While many Federal Holidays are celebrated on Mondays, Veterans Day continues to be celebrated on November 11th to mark the importance of the date. World War I is a war that many Americans know very little about, as for many, it becomes eclipsed by World War II in their study of history. If you have a few minutes today, take some time to learn about World War I. And then go thank a Veteran for their service.