Veterans Day is an important holiday in American history, but it is easy to forget where it came from. There is a lot of history behind the next federal holiday on America’s calendar. You may still be asking, “Why is Veterans Day celebrated on November 11th?” Well, there is a distinct reason why we celebrate this holiday on November 11th. This article will be diving right into this layered history. Additionally, we will provide a bit of background so the next time someone asks “What day is Veterans Day?,” you can give them an answer.
Suggested read: Veterans Day: Must-Attend Events to Honor Vets 2023
Why Is Veterans Day Celebrated On November 11th?
Before getting into what Veterans Day actually represents, it is important to first give context to the significance behind the November 11 holiday. World War I was a horrible time in human history. Millions of people lost their lives to ludicrous amounts of violence and bloodshed. This war began in 1914 and ended in 1918. More specifically, the first armistice between Germany and the Allies was signed in 1918, at the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month. This birth of a national holiday (Armistice Day) would be recognized for decades to come.
For those of you confused about what Armistice Day is, this was the holiday’s original name. Armistice Day was meant to honor the armistice that ended one of the most brutal wars in the world’s history, as well as the Soldiers who fought in service of their country.
However, as everyone knows, that is not the holiday’s name today. So, why are we now celebrating Veterans Day 2023 and not Armistice Day 2023? And, why is Veterans Day celebrated on November 11th?
Related read: What Is Veterans Day 2023? Honoring All Who Served
When Did Armistice Day Change to Veterans Day?
While the first Armistice Day was recognized in 1919, it took many decades before Armistice Day became the federal holiday we know today as Veterans Day. 1919 was the first year Armistice Day was recognized. However, in 1926, schools and churches began to commemorate the holiday.
This does not mean that they had the federal holiday off quite yet. It just meant that these aspects of society recognized what occurred on that day back in 1918. Armistice Day did not become an actual federal holiday until 1938, with its primary function being to honor the Veterans of World War I.
While November 11 was originally designed to represent the day of armistice that started the end of World War I, by 1954, the meaning of the day began to change. By this point, America had participated in two more international conflicts (World War II and fighting in Korea). This provided citizens even more of a reason to appreciate those who fought for them.
It was in 1954 that the 83rd Congress decided to rename Armistice Day to Veterans Day, in order to stay consistent with the idea that November 11th was a day to celebrate the Veterans who had been fighting for America.
What Veterans Day Looks Like Today
Veterans Day (not Veteran’s Day for those who were curious) is a very important American holiday. There are multiple ways to honor Veterans on November 11th. Restaurants and companies are some of their biggest supporters through massive deals and specials.
Although Veterans Day occurs between Halloween and Thanksgiving, it is important not to forget this federal holiday (2023’s third to last federal holiday to be specific). So don’t forget to give your local Veterans some love on this upcoming Veterans Day!