By Chianna Schoethaler
Veterans Day began as a part of World War I and over the years has gone through a variety of changes to what it is today.
Seven months before World War I officially ending, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostiles between various allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
The war officially ended on June 28, 1919, in Versailles, France, outside of the Palace of Versailles however, Nov. 11, 1918, is often referenced as the end of “the war to end all wars.”
President Woodrow Wilson, 28th president of the U.S, declared in November 1919 on the 11th day of the month as Armistice Day. The original intentions of this designated day was to have a observed celebration where parades and public meetings occurred. Businesses on this day would take a brief postponement at 11 a.m.
By 1938 an act was approved May 5 to make Nov. 11 a legal holiday that occurred yearly as an observance for world peace. This holiday became officially known as Armistice Day.
The act was revised in 1954 to amend the word Armistice to insert the word Veteran, which created Veterans Day instead. Along with the act revision, president Dwight Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation. This proclamation created the Veterans Day National Committee.
This committee oversees all the national planning and countless coordination of events that occur on Veterans Day.
Instead of Veterans Day being observed Nov. 11, the Uniform Holiday Bill in 1968 changed the date to be the fourth Monday in October to be similar to Labor Day and Memorial Day. The bill went into effect in 1971.
The Uniform Holiday Bill was short-lived with Veterans Day because in 1975 president Gerald Ford, the 38th president of the U.S. moved the day of observance back to Nov. 11.
According the U.S. Census bureau in 2015, 18.8 million veterans lived within the U.S., while 1.6 million of the 18.8 million are female. Three states, California, Texas and Florida have over 1 million veterans residing in theses states.
In 2016 over 9.2 million veterans were over the age of 65, while 1.6 million were under 35 years-old according to the U.S. Census bureau.
Veterans Day considered to be “a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of the country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good” according the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices,” said president Harry Truman