You may have seen things in the news or heard things on the radio about Veterans Day. For those who do not know, the word “veteran” can be used to refer to any person who is experienced in a particular field. However, this word is often used to refer to people who have served in the military. Knowing what the word “veteran” means, you can easily infer what the holiday is for, but you may be interested in learning a bit more about its origins.
The Treaty of Versailles, which officially ended World War I, was signed on June 28, 1919, but fighting had ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or a brief pause of fighting, was reached between the Allied nations and Germany. The armistice officially went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For this reason, Woodrow Wilson, the U.S. President at the time of World War I, commemorated this date as Armistice Day. People held parades and public gatherings as well as brief pauses in business activities at 11a.m. to pay respect to U.S. veterans and victims from World War I. Following World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day, and was dedicated to American veterans of all wars, both living and dead. Today in the United States, an official wreath-laying ceremony is held each Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery, while parades and other celebrations are held in communities around the nation.