Why Does Veterans’ Day Fall on November 11?

In the United States, November 11 is Veterans’ Day, a day on which we remember and appreciate the men and women who serve and have served in our armed forces.

The holiday (or “observance,” if you prefer) originated in November 1919, when President Wilson issued a proclamation recognizing November 11 as “Armistice Day,” in honor of the  November 11, 1918 armistice that marked the initial end to hostilities during World War I. Although the war itself did not end for another seven months (the official end to World War I occurred at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919), Armistice Day was intended to commemorate and remember, with pride and gratitude, the service of those who died in our country’s service.

In 1938, Congress formally established the Armistice Day holiday (by means of a formal act) to honor the veterans of World War 1. In 1954, Congress amended the act in order to recognize the U.S. veterans who served in World War II and the Korean War. That amendment changed the word “Armistice” to “Veterans” — thereby making November 11 a day to honor all U.S. war veterans. 

60 years later, Veterans’ Day remains a time to remember, thank, and honor the men and women who serve our country and its military.

My father in law is a retired Marine. I am proud beyond words to be part of his family. Like so many veterans, he usually receives less honor and appreciation than he deserves, and I hope that he understands how deeply appreciative I am of his service, his courage, and the way he taught his children (including my husband) that duty and honor are real, tangible, and living–not just faded concepts from a distant past.

Thank you, Gene, and thank you to all of the men and women who serve or have served in the U.S. military. You deserve far more than one day of the year, but I’m glad you have this one.

Have you served in the military? Do you have family members who have served? Please give them a shout-out in the comments.