The Evolution of Veterans Day
Veterans Day 2019
Each year on November 11th, America honors those who have served in the Armed Forces. Since it is a federal holiday, you can expect the post office, local government offices, most banks, and some schools to be closed in observance of this day of gratitude. While we commemorate Veteran’s Day with local events and ceremonies – it wasn’t always so. In fact, it wasn’t even called Veteran’s Day to begin with; it was originally known, worldwide, as Armistice Day.
Armistice Day Origin Story
Famously, on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” in 1918, the Allied Powers and Germany met in Compiègne, France to sign an armistice to cease hostilities on the Western Front in World War I. While it’s terms officially expired after a period of 36 days, the armistice was extended several times until permanent provisions were established within the Treaty of Versailles. Many Allied Nations declared this day a national holiday to celebrate the end of the ‘Great War’ and welcome world peace.
Peace is a Fragile Thing
Ultimately, The Treaty of Versailles both failed to resolve the complicated issues that caused war to break out in 1914 and placed the burden of ‘war guilt’ solely on Germany. The post-war reality of a destabilized Europe and the economic woes of Germany, along with the outrage of its people, led to the failure of the Treaty of Versailles and the collapse of peace. These and other events led the world down the path to another global conflict that involved more players, lasted twice as long and resulted in 60+ million deaths worldwide.
A More Befitting Tribute
Since the core ideals of Armistice Day – to celebrate lasting world peace – vanished as a result of WWII and our involvement in the Korean Conflict; US lawmakers chose to rededicate 11/11 as a day of remembrance for all Veterans. On June 1, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill to change the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day. Many Allied countries also chose to change the name of the holiday, including:
- Great Britain & the Commonwealth of Nations adopted Remembrance Day.
- Poland observes National Independence Day on November 11th.
- France chose to keep their original holiday called Armistice de la Première Guerre Mondiale.
- Germany does not observe Armistice Day, but the German National Day of Mourning, a secular public holiday that falls on the Sunday closest to November 16, commemorates victims of war and violence.
Thank You for Your Service
…this accolade has become the traditional phrase for Americans to express gratitude and respect for the service and sacrifice of our active duty service members and military veterans. While the current goodwill surrounding the support of our nation’s troops is extraordinary, it wasn’t always like this. In fact, many of our nation’s 18 million veterans who served pre-Gulf War experienced public protests, harassment from civilians and negative homecoming experiences.
Fortunately, then General Colin Powell and General Norman Schwarzkopf elicited national support from the US public to support our troops during the first Gulf War. With yellow ribbons and flags everywhere, our brothers & sisters, sons & daughters, moms & dads and spouses who served their country in Iraq and Kuwait would forevermore be held in the highest regard. This sentiment has grown exponentially and remains strong for Our Nation’s Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen – even among our turbulent political divisions.
Our government provides Veterans with support and benefits from organizations like the US Department of Veterans Affairs, who offer dedicated resources for things like job searches and tax assistance. And, while not every Vet is used to it, modern-day Veterans Day 2019 is a virtual plethora of America’s gratitude. Veterans are treated like Rock Stars with special recognition, dedications, parades, discounts, freebies and the heartfelt gratitude of their country for their time in service. Check out Military Benefits for Veterans Day 2019 offers and events. However, you choose to show your gratitude for the service and sacrifices of our beloved Veterans – all of us here at 469 Design hope this Veterans Day is memorable and meaningful for you and your families. We’d like to invite you to say “Thank You” online with these unique opportunities:
Express your thanks by donating care package items via Amazon to Operation Gratitude’s Wish List. This incredible organization has sent over 300,000 care packages to Veterans, US Service Members deployed overseas and their families, Wounded Heroes and their caregivers, New Recruit Graduates, and First Responders.
#HonorThroughAction Join others on your favorite social media site with the hashtag #HonorThroughAction to recognize the service of a Veteran you love or admire. Draw a ‘V’ on your hand, add the initials of a veteran you’d like to honor, take a hand-selfie and post it online 11/11.