October 17, 2019 Ian Wilcox (CMC, US Navy, Ret.)



In the American Armed Forces, a particular day is kept reserved in the name of the veteran mercenaries who have saved the forces and the country. This day is glorified as Veteran’s Day & is celebrated on Nov 11 every year. The Day marks the end of World War I and is celebrated under different names in different countries. Originally, this day was known as Armistice Day, signifying the Armistice with Germany going into effect. It celebrates the service of ALL armed forces troops, irrespective of whether they survived the battle or not. 

On Nov 11, 1919, the then President Woodrow Wilson addressed the citizens on the first Armistice Day. He expressed how the Armistice with Germany helped to rebuild a shattered economy and how it paved the way for world peace. 

Veteran’s Day is different from Memorial Day in the way that the latter is a tribute to the military men who have died during battle or because of injuries caused during a battle. Perished veterans are also honored on veteran’s Day, but the focus is laid more on survivors and army men who have fought for the nation in times of war and peace. 


Nov 11 is a national holiday in the United States. So, Day is observed by a day off from school or work. If the day comes on a weekend it is celebrated prior or postponed depending on whether it is a Saturday or Sunday. This is a non-working pad day. No federal agency works on this Day, but they get paid. If by necessity, you are required to work on this Day, you are entitled to receive holiday pay. 

A Resolution was passed on August 2001, ordering the week from 11.11 to 17.11 be designated as “NVA Week.” The idea is to improve the apprehension of the sacrifices made by veterans for school level students. 

The ceremonies are held in the Tomb of the Unknowns. At 11 am on Nov 11, symbolic of the time at which the Armistice was signed, a combined color guard executes “Present Arms” in this place. The guard represents all military services. The President then lays the wreath on the tomb and “Taps” is played to commemorate the ceremony. 


Observing Veteran’s Day is of federal importance. Originally known as Armistice Day, the word was replaced with “Veteran’s” in 1954. After the approval of Congress of this proclamation, Nov 11 is regarded as Veteran’s Day year after year. In 1968, Veteran’s Day was moved to the fourth day of October. The idea was to have four federal holidays in the same month, along with Washington ’s Birthday, Memorial Day and Columbus Day. But, many states did not agree with this shifting of celebrations. This led to so much chaos and Veteran’s Day was celebrated with much confusion on Oct 25 in 1971. This prolonged for another four years, and it all came to an end in 1975 with the President passed a bill reversing the date of celebration back to its original date.