U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said,
“To us in America, 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, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
The United States Congress passed a concurrent resolution seven years later on June 4, 1926, requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. A Congressional Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U.S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday: “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.”
The name changed officially from Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954, due to the efforts of Raymond Weeks, who was honored by President Reagan in 1982 for his efforts. For a time, from 1971 to 1978, Veterans Day was celebrated on the last Monday of October, in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. In 1978, it was moved back to its original celebration on November 11. While the legal holiday remains on November 11, if that date happens to be on a Saturday or Sunday, then organizations that formally observe the holiday will normally be closed on the adjacent Friday or Monday, respectively.
Today, we need to pay homage and thanks to our veterans, both living and deceased. Without their sacrifice, we would not enjoy the liberties and freedoms we so much take for granted.
Remember that this is not another reason for retailers to hold another sale. Instead it is about commemorating, even for a moment or two of silence the memory of those who either have come back wounded, which they all do in some way, or gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Thank a Veteran for your liberties, and freedoms. You really will be glad you did.