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History of Veteran’s Day

Veteran’s day is always observed on November 11th, and was created to honor ALL American veterans, both living and dead. It is very much intended to thank veterans for their dedication and loyal service to our country so that we ensure veterans know how much we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made to protect our freedom.

Veteran’s day originated from Armistice Day, which was based on the ending of WWI and the date of ceremonies and burial for the “unknown soldier”. This took place on November 11, 1918 at 11AM (the eleventh hour of the eleventh month).

It wasn’t until 1938 that Armistice Day became a national holiday. Then, in 1947, a Veteran’s parade was held on Armistice Day in Alabama to honor ALL American veterans for their loyal service. Shortly thereafter Kansas Congressman, Edward Rees requested that legislation change the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day in order to honor all veterans who have served the United States in all wars.

In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day, and called upon Americans everywhere to rededicate themselves to the cause of peace. He issued a Presidential Order directing the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs, to form a Veterans Day National Committee to organize and oversee the national observance of Veterans Day.

At Arlington National Cemetery, at exactly 11 a.m., each November 11th, a color guard, made up of members from each of the military branches, renders honors to America’s war dead during a heart-moving ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The President or his representative places a wreath at the Tomb to a Taps Buglar. The balance of the ceremony, including a “Parade of Flags” by numerous veteran service organizations, takes place inside the Memorial Amphitheater, adjacent to the Tomb.

Today, many communities participate in their own Veteran’s day parades, events and veteran appreciation activities. We encourage you to participate in a Veteran’s day activity.

We’d like to say thank you to all the men and women who have served to protect our country and our freedoms. We honor your bravery and dedication today and always.

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