Veterans Day

Flags placed in preparation for Veterans Day are illuminated by morning light, Utah Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Bluffdale, Utah, Nov. 10, 2016. (R. Nial Bradshaw)

Mrugaya Bhandarkar and Junhyuk Jang

By Mrugaya Bhandarkar and Junhyuk Jang

According to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, many Americans confuse Veterans Day with Memorial Day. It was introduced as a legal U.S holiday after World War I. The holiday first took place on November 11th, 1918. It was formerly known as Armistice Day originally created to praise the end of the first World War. Armistice Day was introduced to honor World War I veterans. After the second World War and the Korean War, the United States Congress amended the Act of 1938 by removing the word “Armistice” and changing it to “Veterans”.

Once the legislation was approved on June 1st, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor all veterans. Under the Uniform Holiday Bill, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day became three-day weekends because they took place on Mondays. Because of this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October and was first celebrated on October 25th, 1971. However, many states did not agree and continued to celebrate the holiday on its initial date. On September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford passed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its previous date of Nov. 11, starting in 1978. If the Nov. 11 lands on a Saturday, the holiday is recognized by the federal government on the Friday before. If it is on Sunday, the holiday is observed on Monday. This important national holiday give Americans the chance to celebrate the bravery and the sacrifice of all U.S veterans.