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Veterans Day

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History of Veterans Day 1921 - an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in England and France, where an unknown soldier was buried in each nation’s highest place of honor (in England, Westminster Abbey; in France, the Arc de Triomphe). These memorial services all took place on November 11, the anniversary of the end of World War I at 11:00 a.m., November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month), which became known as Armistice Day. 1926 - Armistice Day officially became a holiday in the United States, and a national holiday 12 years later. On June 1, 1954, the name was changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. veterans. 1968 - new legislation changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent, however, that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans. Therefore, in 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date. Official, national ceremonies for Veterans Day center around the Tomb of the Unknowns. To honor these men, symbolic of all Americans who gave their lives in all wars, an Army honor guard, the 3d U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard), keeps day and night vigil. At 11 a.m. on November 11, a combined color guard representing all military services executes "Present Arms" at the tomb. The nation’s tribute to its war dead is symbolized by the laying of a presidential wreath and the playing of "Taps."

Department of Defense Veterans Day Coverage Military History