On November 11, 1918 an armistice between Allied Forces and Germany was signed, ending World War I after four years of fighting. The armistice ended hostilities at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. The following year U.S. President Woodrow Wilson issued the first Armistice Day proclamation:
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.
On Armistice Day in 1921, an unidentified American soldier killed in WWI was buried in a special tomb in Arlington National Cemetery; now know as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by members of The Old Guard and located near the center of the cemetery.
Armistice Day was declared a Federal holiday in 1938. Celebrations honoring WWI veterans continued to include parades, public gatherings, and moments of silence.
After World War II and the Korean War, veteran service organizations lobbied congress to amend the 1938 act—changing the word "Armistice" to "Veterans." This new legislation was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on June 1, 1954. Since November 11, 1954 the U.S. has honored American veterans, living or dead, of all wars on Veterans Day.
The following recently published books are about Veterans Day, wars involving American soldiers, or the impact veterans have on their friends and family. Browse through this feature and those from previous years to discover more.
As a brief introduction for youngsters about one of America's most important national holidays, every sub-topic has its own chapter with actual photographs, key vocabulary in bold red and basic text in a large font. Concepts are explained using simple descriptions beginning with the significance of Veterans Day in honor of those who have served in the military. There is a small amount of U.S. History related to its origins as Armistice Day. For example, President Woodrow Wilson designated it to be celebrated for the first time on November 11, 1919 as World War I concluded. Not until 1938 did this holiday become official. However, in 1954 after World War II and the Korean War ended, the name was changed to Veterans Day. Other countries around the world commemorate veterans on Remembrance Day on or near November 11. France still has an Armistice Day since the word armistice means "the end of hostilities." No matter when special holidays are officially celebrated, young children can investigate Passover, Easter, Ramadan, Juneteenth, and Saint Patrick's Day in this friendly "Holidays" series. Colorful photos bring real life to the forefront in each engaging book. Handy sections at the end of books cover Interesting Facts, Important Words, Web Sites, and provide a nice Index. Extensions to other subjects and concepts are easily incorporated by related hands-on projects, additional reading, oral conversations, and assorted media. 2012, ABDO Publishing Company, $17.95. Ages 7 to 11. Reviewer: Susan Treadway, M.Ed. (Children's Literature).