In 1918, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice was declared between the parties – the Allies and Germany - in World War I, known as the “Great War.”
In the US, the first Armistice Day was declared in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson:
"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…"
In 1938, November 11 became a legal federal holiday in the US. After World War II and the Korean War, the name was changed to Veterans Day and the holiday was dedicated to American veterans of all wars. The holiday focuses attention on the celebration that honors veterans of America for their patriotism and willingness to serve.
Today, there are more than 24 million Veterans who have served in the US Armed Forces. Most families have a relative, friend or neighbor who served or still serves.