Veterans Day is celebrated on Nov. 11 each year to honor all United States Veterans, whether they are living or deceased and whether they fought in a war or served during peacetime.
The day was first commemorated as Armistice Day in 1919 to celebrate the armistice between Germany and the Allied nations, which ended World War I the previous year.
President Woodrow Wilson said the day should be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory.” Armistice Day was a day to celebrate peace and express gratitude for those who fought in the largest war known to history.
In 1945, a World War II Veteran from Alabama, Raymond Weeks, first presented the idea of expanding the holiday to honor all veterans no matter which war they fought. Ten years later, Veterans Day replaced Armistice Day, and every veteran was honored.
Today, we recognize Veterans Day as a day to honor and thank all our nation’s veterans for their service and patriotism. It’s a day to be thankful for our freedoms and solemnly remember the expense our service men and women have paid and continue to pay in fighting for those freedoms.
This Veterans Day, remember the significance of the parades and festivities as we celebrate our country’s heroes who sacrificed so much for our country’s prosperity.