Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The origins of Armistice Day
Happy Armistice Day. Happy Veterans' Day. Happy Happy.
You may have noticed that on your calendar November 11th is listed as:
Veterans' Day - U.S. /Armistice Day - France.
It was originally called thus here in America.
The day is commemorated on November 11th, because it was on Nov. 11th 1918 that WW1 ended. The Armistice was symbolically signed at 11a.m. -- the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Voila….. "Armistice Day".
It didn't become a national holiday until 1938, just in time for World War 2 (Known in Advertising Agencies as "WWI Rev.")
16 1/2 million Americans served in the military before WW2 ended.
But, before folks could sit back,relax and enjoy their new little home in Levittown, the Korean Conflict broke out.
In 1954 President Eisenhower changed Armistice Day to Veterans' Day, a day to honor all Americans who have served their country in all its wars, "conflicts", Police Actions etc. Veterans' Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day, when we remember all the veterans who gave their lives for their country. Veterans' Day is a day to honor those who served and survived.
Sounds like it should end there. Nah.
In 1968, a law was passed that changed the national commemoration of Veterans' Day to the fourth Monday in October. Maybe it was because folks got spooked that it fell near Halloween, but a scant ten years later it was officially switched back to the old Armistice Day date…November 11th.
Which is where we stand today, saluting our veterans.