One of the most important days of military recognition for the United States military forces is Veterans Day coming up on November 11th.
A day of recognition for all those who have served the United States in the various branches of the military, Veterans Day offers thanks for their service and appreciation to all former military members.
Veterans Day - A Brief History
Originally known as Armistice Day, this military holiday was declared a day to remember and give thanks to the soldiers who had fought in World War I and was established on the day that the war had officially ended.
November 11, 1918 saw the ending of the Great War and by 1938, legislation was passed to declare the day a legal holiday that was dedicated to world peace and honoring the many military veterans, living and dead, who fought in the war.
After World War II and the Korean war, Armistice Day officially became Veterans Day on June 1, 1954, when veterans service organizations petitioned Congress to change the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day so the day more directly honored the nation’s many veterans.
On November 11, 1954, the holiday was first celebrated as Veterans Day as it is still known today.
Interestingly, the date was changed to the fourth Monday of October in 1971 so that Veterans Day followed the new Uniform Holiday Monday Act of 1968; however, that change did not fare too well.
The purpose was to fit into a schedule of federal holidays that offered a 3-day weekend for all Federal employees, but Americans continued to recognize November 11th as the true holiday.
On September 20, 1975, President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11th once again and it has been celebrated on that day ever since.
Some Interesting Facts About Veterans Day
- No Apostrophe! - As normal as it might seem to call it Veteran’s Day, the apostrophe is omitted with good reason. The day is for Veterans, not belonging to them. The more you know!
- Armistice Day to Veterans Day - The name change was primarily brought about because while Armistice Day was proclaimed to celebrate the “war to end all wars,” more wars were waged since that time. In light of this, the veterans services organization thought it better to recognize all veterans of all wars than to celebrate with a name that failed to hold its promise of signaling worldwide peace forevermore.
- Mayflower Day - Another suggestion that some people sought after World War II was the renaming of Armistice Day to Mayflower Day. The reasoning behind the idea was that the Mayflower Compact that laid the foundation for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution was signed on November 11, 1620.
- 96-Hours of Liberty Celebration - Veterans Day is preceded by the birthday of the Marine Corps on November 10th. Because the Marines traditionally hold a special cake-cutting ceremony and ball the day immediately before Veterans Day, it was decided to extend the celebration to include both military holidays in one. The Marines now celebrate a 96-hour liberty period that begins on November 10th to commemorate the Marine Corps in general and also pay special thanks to Marine Veterans.
Honor Veterans Day at the Museum of the American G.I.
This November 11th, why not recognize the veteran in your life and all veterans who have served with a visit to the Museum of the American G.I.?
A visit to a living history museum is the perfect thank-you for former military members and a great way for people of all ages to learn more about our military forces and the important ways they have served this country.
See weapons, vehicles, memorabilia, and more at military history museums that make learning enjoyable and memorable!