If you or someone you love has served our nation in military service, thank you for your service to our nation. Happy Veterans Day from Benchmark.
The story of Veterans Day began on November 11, 1918, when the Allied nations and Germany went into armistice, bringing an end to “the war to end all wars.” In November of the following year, President Woodrow Wilson said,
“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, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”
and proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. Originally, the day was to be celebrated with parades and public meetings, as well as a temporary closure of business at 11:00 in the morning.
November 11 became a federal holiday when a resolution was passed by Congress on the fourth day of June in 1926, stating,
Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.
An Act approved on the thirteenth day of May in 1938 made November 11th a legal holiday dedicated to the cause of world peace to be celebrated as “Armistice Day,” intended to honor veterans of World War I.
After the sacrifice of many during the second World War, and after the conflict in Korea, the 83rd Congress amended the Act of 1938 in 1954 to replace the word “Armistice” with “Veterans”, transforming the holiday we celebrate on the eleventh day of November into a day to honor all American veterans of all wars.
Also in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower stated,
In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his Veterans Day Proclamation on November 8th, 2954
While there have been other minor changes since then, Veterans Day has been celebrated as such since 1954, on the history of the day set aside to celebrate peace at the end of the first “war to end all wars.”
To all who have served, Thank You. Happy Veterans Day.