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Veterans Day is celebrated in the United States every day on November 11th. This year, the date is creating quite the stir, not only because it is Veterans Day but also because the date itself is 11/11/11 and specifically this morning at 11:11 a.m. it  will be 11/11/11 – 11:11 – same goes for 11:11 p.m. this evening. It is the last time in a century that the date will contain only binary digits – 1 and/or 0.

But why November 11th? Is there significance to the date chosen to celebrate the men and women who have left behind loved ones and friends to make our country and the world safe? Many of whom never returned home to their own families.

Yes. At the end of World War I, the armistice known as the Treaty of Versailles was to go into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year. Hence November 11th, 1918 at 11 a.m. is considered the end of the war to end all wars.

Veterans' Cemetery

Image by The U.S. National Archives via Flickr

The day was originally celebrated with parades and celebrations of the end of the war and a brief cessation of all business at 11:00 a.m. in commemoration of the peace treaty. It was declared a federal holiday in 1938 and in 1954   “Armistice” was dropped and “Veteran” replaced it as a way to honor all those American Military personnel who served in all wars.

For a brief period Veterans Day was switched to another day to comply with the Uniform Holiday Act. It was however quickly switched back to the day which holds a special place in history.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

 To all those who gave so much of themselves and their families and continue to do so…….. Thank you.
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