On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, a world wide armistice went into effect ending “the war of all wars” – World War I. The following year President Woodrow Wilson proclaims November 11, 1919 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day stating that “…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…” Almost 20 years later, on May 13. 1938 congress passed legislation making Armistice Day, November 11, a legal Federal holiday.
By 1954 America had fought in World War II and Korea. The veterans of these wars were now being honored on Armistice Day along with the veterans of World War I so on June 1, 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs legislation officially changing the name of the holiday to Veteran’s Day.
On June 28, 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Holiday Bill (This is the bill that made it so certain holidays are always celebrated on a Monday) which moved Veterans Day from November 11 to the fourth Monday in October starting in 1971. However, many people were upset by this move due to the historic significance of the original date. Several states failed to recognize the new date and over the course of the next 5 years other states stopped recognizing the new date. Finally on September 20, 1975 President Gerald R Ford signed Public Law 94-97 returning Veterans Day to November 11 across the nation beginning in 1978.
Today Veterans Day honors all living men and women who have served in any branch of the United States Military.
We hope you will join us on November 11 at 12:45 PM on board the USS Edson as we honor the brave men and women who have defended our great country. Admission to the ship is FREE with a donation. More info available here.