Nov. 11: The history of Veterans Day

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – People across the nation are celebrating Veterans Day Wednesday, Nov. 11. Veterans Day used to be known as Armistice Day but after World War II ended, soon after in 1954, the word Armistice was replaced with Veterans and Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Why is Veterans Day always Nov. 11? On Nov. 11, 1918, fighting ceased for World War I when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Nov. 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of ‘the war to end all wars’.

Armistice Day/Veterans Day was always recognized on Nov. 11 starting in 1919. According to va.gov, starting in 1968, Veterans Day was designed to be one of the federal holidays that would be celebrated on a Monday to give federal employees, and many Americans, three-day weekends (along holidays such as Memorial Day, and Labor Day).

The first Veterans Day that was not celebrated on Nov. 11 was in 1971 and came with much confusion. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says that it then became apparent that the commemoration of Veterans Day came with a great matter of historic and patriotic significance to many citizens and should remain on Nov. 11 no matter what day of the week it fell on. So, in 1975, President Gerald Ford returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to the original date of Nov. 11.

In Utah, several leaders have expressed their feeling on their social media pages on Veterans Day:

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox also shared a video on his Twitter to honor Veterans:

Sen. Mike Lee also shared a video to let Veterans know that they are ‘loved and appreciated more than you know’:

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