Introduction: Armistice, Remembrance and Veterans Day
Why three names? They are all linked, by history, chronology and geography. World War I officially ended at 11 a.m., on the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918. Though the guns ceased firing at this time, it was not before 10 million military fell, another 20 million injured, and still another 8 million listed as missing. World War I has been called the war to end all wars, the Great War.
Commemoration of World War I was proclaimed as Armistice Day by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. It took almost 20 years before it became a federal holiday in 1938.
In 1954, after shedding blood and tears in World War II and the Korean War, President Eisenhower changed the name from “Armistice Day” to “Veterans Day” in order to include everyone who had risked their life in war. Nevertheless, it did not become an official holiday until 1975, and has been celebrated ever since.
Armistice Day also became a holiday in many other countries around the world dating back to the First World War. Australia, Canada, France, Great Britain, New Zealand and many others continue to commemorate the day, several refer to it as Remembrance Day.