Veterans Day, which is also called Armistice Day, is celebrated on November 11 each year. Veterans Day is a well-known holiday; however, there are some common misconceptions about the day, including the official name of the holiday, why it is celebrated, and when it is celebrated.
Many people assume that the holiday is called Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day; however, there is not supposed to be an apostrophe. Including an apostrophe suggests the day belongs to one veteran or multiple veterans, but the day is intended to honor all veterans, so there is no need to include an apostrophe.
Additionally, Veterans Day is different from Memorial Day. While Memorial Day is holiday for remembering all who gave their lives for our country, Veterans Day honors all who have served the country.
Today, Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11; however, this was not always the case. On November 11, 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the day as the first commemoration of Armistice Day to reflect on and honor those who had made great sacrifices during World War I. He chose November 11 in honor of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, which is the day that an armistice or temporary cessation of hostilities went into effect ending the fighting in World War I.
In 1926, Congress, recognizing the importance of celebrating our heroes, passed a resolution for annual observance of Armistice Day on November 11. The day was officially recognized as a national holiday in 1938. Armistice Day was celebrated November 11 annually until 1954, when President Eisenhower officially changed the name to Veterans Day.
In 1968, the Uniform Holiday Bill was signed into law. This law moved Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, and Veterans Day was celebrated on October 25 that year. The celebration was met with confusion and resistance, as many felt that the historical significance of November 11 added to the importance of Veterans Day. Due to this resistance, President Ford moved Veterans Day back to its original date of November 11, and beginning in 1978, Veterans Day has been celebrated every November 11.
Take some time this November 11 to remember and honor our Veterans as heroes for their service to our country.