With Veterans Day approaching, we wanted to do our part in ensuring that the underlying history behind Veterans Day does not fade away into the annuls of history.
Veterans Day is one of our Nation's most important holidays, where we give thanks and honor all of the Veterans who have answered the call of service.
However, most people do not know that Veterans Day was once known by a different name....that name was Armistice day. Armistice Day commemorated the armistice that ended the First World War on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year in 1918. Thus, Veterans day always taking place on November 11th.
Armistice Day honored those who gave their lives in "the war to end all wars" -- A day of hope that they had not given their lives in vain. And it was not until 1938 that Armistice day was recognized as a national holiday by Congress.
The name "Veterans Day" did not come about until later in the 20th century when it was first used by Raymond Weeks, who organized a "Veterans Day Parade" in Birmingham, Ala. in 1947. The Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes that event as the first usage of the phrase "Veterans Day." Then in 1954, Congress officially changed the name of the day to Veterans Day to ensure that we remember and celebrate all of those who have and are currently answering the highest call of service and sacrifice.
The importance of recognizing our veterans is best summed up with a quote from President Coolidge: "The Nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten."