On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Allied nations and Germany ceased all hostilities, ending the First World War.
The following year, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of 'Armistice Day' with the following words:
"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.
In 1938, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sought to make Armistice Day a legal holiday dedicated to world piece—never expecting the United States involvement in WWII one year later.
In the wake of the second World War, congress amended the Act of 1938, changing the name of 'Armistice Day' to 'Veterans Day,' in recognition of all American veterans—living or dead—who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.
Please join us today, as we extend our most sincere gratitude to all who served, and continue to serve, our great nation.