Veteran’s Day is set on November 11th because hostilities during World War I ceased on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. In November of 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11th as Armistice Day with its original intention to be a day observed with parades, public meetings and a suspension of business starting at 11am.
The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples. (www.va.gov)
On May 13, 1938, Congress passed legislation making Armistice Day a recognized Federal Holiday and was initially set aside as a day to honor the veterans of WWI. However in 1954, the 83rd Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word Armistice and inserting Veteran so that all veterans could be honored. Later in the year, President Eisenhower would issue the first Veteran’s Day Proclamation. And in 1968 when the Uniform Holiday Bill was passed and signed into law, Veteran’s Day was observed on days other than Nov 11th. However this was rectified in 1975 when President Ford signed legislation that returned observance of Veteran’s Day to November 11th.
Today we thank all the veterans who have served throughout our country’s history to preserve liberty and freedom for all. We celebrate those who are with us and we especially think of all those who never came home which include but are not limited to those who are buried in the cemeteries of Europe, unmarked graves overseas and who are missing in action.
We appreciate the sacrifice of all our veterans and current members of the military and know that without them we would not be the land of the free and the home of the brave.