Honoring Those Who Served — The History of Veterans Day

This Veterans Day, Phillips Law Group wants to take the time to honor our veterans and look back at how this important holiday came to pass with a closer look at the history of Veteran’s Day.

Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day, and it’s a federal holiday in the United States observed every year on November 11. It is meant to honor military veterans from the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard.

Because major hostilities of World War I officially ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect, Armistice Day was established to mark the occasion. The holiday officially got its name in America in 1926 through a Congressional resolution, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Originally, Armistice Day was meant to be, “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.” But sadly, World War II broke out within just a few years, and thousands more American soldiers died.

In 1947, Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran himself, organized “National Veterans Day” in Birmingham, Alabama to honor all veterans. The festivities included a local parade. U.S. Representative Edward Rees of Kansas then proposed a bill to change Armistice Day to Veterans Day.

In 1954, Congress passed a bill that Dwight D. Eisenhower signed proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day. To this day, parades and ceremonies are held as part of annual events to commemorate the day nationwide – just like the parades Weeks once organized in his own hometown.

Although a law was passed in 1968 to change the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October, “It soon became apparent … that November 11 was a

date of historic significance to many Americans,” the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs noted. So, in 1978, Congress returned the observance to its traditional date that is still honored today.

A ceremony takes place at Arlington National Cemetery’s Memorial Amphitheater every Veterans Day, and “the nation’s tribute to its war dead is symbolized by the

laying of a presidential wreath,” according to the VA. This is one of the most high-profile events held to mark the occasion, but local ceremonies and events are also held across the country.

Every year here at Phillips Law Group, we observe Veterans Day and honor America’s veterans for their commitment, patriotism, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for our country.

We are also proud to assist our veterans with their legal needs – from assisting former service members who have been denied benefits or access to medical care, to helping former Marines and their family members who were exposed to harmful chemicals at Camp Lejeune. Please reach out to our office if you or your loved one is a veteran who needs legal advice – our team would be deeply honored to offer help however we can.