On November 11, the people of the United States celebrate Veterans’ Day, to honor military veterans of the United States Armed Forces. Although most U.S. federal holidays fall on the Monday closest to the actual date of the event they honor, Veterans’ Day is one of the few that is always observed on November 11. That’s because it stems from an armistice that went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in the year 1918 and thus ended the fighting of the First World War, though not the war itself. That would not happen until June 28, 1919, when the First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Nonetheless, the public considered November 11, 1918, to be the end of the conflict.
For two decades, November 11 was unofficially celebrated as Armistice Day. Finally, in May 1938, the U.S. Congress proclaimed it to be an official federal holiday, "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'", honoring veterans of the First World War. In 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower expanded the holiday to honor all who have served in uniform, both in war and peace, and in 1971, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, thus better reflecting the spirit of the celebration.
“Today, we pay homage to the unrelenting bravery and dedication that distinguish all those who have earned the title of “American veteran,” said President Joe Biden.
“It’s an honor that only a small percentage of Americans can claim, and one that marks those who are able to claim it as brothers and sisters. It’s a badge of courage that unites across all ages, regardless of background — because to be a veteran is to have endured and survived challenges most Americans will never know. You’ve come through the trials and testing, braved dangers and deprivations, faced down the tragic realities of war and death,” said President Biden.
“To all our veterans, past and present, we thank you, we honor you, and we remember always what you’ve done for us.”