EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 7, 2013


"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." -- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

By Kelly Burch

---- — Veterans day began as Armistice Day in 1919, celebrating the temporary treaty that went into effect at 11 a.m., Nov. 11, 1918, ending the fighting in World War I.

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory,” President Woodrow Wilson said at the time,

However, as America became embroiled in more wars, including WWII which involved the largest mobilization of troops that the country had ever seen, the government realized that Armistice Day needed to be a time to recognize all veterans. In 1954, Nov. 11 became a holiday to honor veterans of all wars, and became known as Veterans Day. During the same year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower formed the Veterans Day National Committee to aid in the “common cause” of acknowledging veterans’ service to the country.

There was some confusion over whether the holiday should be celebrated on a Monday to ensure a long weekend. However, in 1975 President Ford signed a law restoring Veterans Day celebrations to Nov. 11, no matter what day of the week that falls on. The holiday continues to be celebrated on Nov. 11 to acknowledge American’s veterans for the service, sacrifice and patriotism.