His­tory Of Veter­ans Day

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World War I — known at the time as “The Great War” — of­fi­cially ended when the Treaty of Ver­sailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Ver­sailles out­side the town of Ver­sailles, France. How­ever, fight­ing ceased seven months ear­lier when an ar­mistice, or tem­po­rary ces­sa­tion of hos­til­i­ties, be­tween the Al­lied na­tions and Ger­many went into ef­fect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. For that rea­son, Nov. 11, 1918, is gen­er­ally re­garded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In Novem­ber 1919, Pres­i­dent Wil­son pro­claimed Nov. 11 as the first com­mem­o­ra­tion of Ar­mistice Day with the fol­low­ing words: “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…”

The orig­i­nal con­cept for the cel­e­bra­tion was for a day ob­served with pa­rades and pub­lic meet­ings and a brief sus­pen­sion of busi­ness be­gin­ning at 11 a.m.

The United States Congress of­fi­cially rec­og­nized the end of World War I when it passed a con­cur­rent res­o­lu­tion on June 4, 1926.

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