A Historical Perspective On Veterans Day
An unknown World War I soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in 1921. The site overlooks Potomac River and Washington, D.C. It later became a center point of reverence for all US veterans. In decades to come, remains of other unknown as well identified soldiers who took part in World War II, Korean and Vietnam Wars were buried at the cemetery.
Similar honored burials of war veterans took place in France and England where an unknown soldier was buried at each nation’s high honor place. The memorial ceremonies at these nationally acclaimed places took place at 11th hour of 11th day of 11th month of each year. The special day at that time was known as “Armistice Day.”
First Veterans Day Celebration
Veterans Day was first celebrated in Birmingham, Alabama in 1947 to coincide with then designated Armistice Day. In 1954 a congressional bill signed by President Eisenhower proclaimed November 11 commemoration as Veterans Day. This is now a nationally celebrated event for recognizing sacrifices made by all US veterans.
Despite the Veterans Day celebration date was changed to fourth Monday of October by Congress in 1968, however, it was soon realized that November 11 was so deeply rooted in the hearts of many Americans as a special day to show reverence for veterans. Consequently, in 1978 Congress reverted the Veterans Day observance date to November 11.