On November 11, 1918, the Armistice that ended World War I was signed. One year later, President Wilson proclaimed that “Armistice Day” be celebrated on November 11th in the United States as a way to commemorate the sacrifice made by hundreds of thousands of American servicemen and women who served during World War I. On that day, President 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.’” It was only seven years later that Congress passed a resolution officially recognizing November 11th as Armistice Day.
Over the next several decades, Armistice Day was celebrated as a day to honor those who served in World War I. Upon its conclusion, many referred to World War I as “The Great War,” believing that as horrific as it was, there was no chance that the world would see such a monumental conflict again. As the United States found itself in the throes of World War II, it became evident that “The Great War” was soon to be undermined by the shocking events and total devastation of World War II. Americans began to understand the importance of honoring all veterans, not just those who served in World War I.
Al King, an Emporia, Kansas shoe store owner became the champion of changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day and after garnering much local support, Mr. King presented his idea to then Kansas Representative Ed Rees. On May 26, 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill officially changing Armistice Day to “All Veterans Day.” Congress amended the act in November to simplify the name to Veterans Day.
Since the conclusion of World War II, America has found itself in the midst of conflict with several nations. From price anything sprays aside.