The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 marked the official end of hostilities between Germany and the Allies. This was, as you know, supposed to be the “war to end all wars.” With that sentiment still fresh in the minds of everyone a year later, President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11th as Armistice Day by saying, “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…”
Unfortunately, the peace didn’t last and the world was back at war approximately 20 years later. The US would be involved in yet another war, the Korean War, in the 1950s. These two wars brought about the feeling that Armistice Day should honor all the veterans, not just those from WWI. With that, Armistice Day was officially changed to Veterans Day in 1954.
In 1968, a law was passed to changed the day of observance from November 11th to the fourth Monday in October. This was to go into effect in 1971. Not every state was thrilled with the change and many of the states slowly moved the observance of Veterans Day back to November. A new law was passed in 1975 that officially moved Veterans Day back to November 11th, with the law going into effect in 1978.
Over the years, thousands of men and women have served in the military. Here at IHRA, we share the stories of handfuls of men who served in WWII. We have read and written about their experiences in combat and through that, we have developed a better understanding of what they gave up to fight for their country. We want to extend our thanks to all the veterans out there. Thank you for your service.