Many people recognize November 11 as a day to honor and support those who fought, and continue to fight to protect our freedom. While nearly everyone observes this holiday, very few people know exactly where Veterans Day originated from. Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, marked the end of World War I due to an “armistice” on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. President Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. The holiday continued to be known and celebrated as this, until 1954 when the 83rd Congress amended the Act of 1938 by replacing the word “Armistice,” with the word “Veterans.” By doing so, they were able to expand the holiday to honor all Veterans of all wars, not just those of World War I. From that day forward November 11 has been recognized nationally as Veterans Day.
Through the years, Veterans Day has been celebrated with memorials and events all centered on the theme of pride and patriotism. Across the nation, Veterans Day is devoted to saying “thank you” and honoring the people who have done so much for our nation. Each year a variety of events are held in Minnesota across the state, ranging from elementary school programs, to flag ceremonies, to formal banquets. There is never a gesture too large or small to show your support for the brave men and women who have fought, and continue to fight, to keep our nation safe.
“Courageous,” “heroic,” and “devoted” are just a few words that describe what it means to be a member of the armed forces. The meaning behind Veterans Day holds a significant place in our nation’s history, and it’s because of our Veterans that we are able to exercise the rights and freedoms that we have today. With this in mind, on Veterans Day remember that often all it takes is a simple and sincere “Thank You” to make a Veteran’s day.
For a list of local events visit the Veterans Day Events page on the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs website.