WWI began on July 28, 1914 and ended November 11, 1918, a day now known as Veterans Day; however, it started as an armistice, a temporary treaty to end hostile actions between the Allies and Germany. This armistice eventually evolved into the Treaty of Versailles (which officially ended WW1) and occurred on the 11th hour of the 11th day of November 1918. President Wilson pronounced this day as Armistice Day and proclaimed that all businesses should cease operation at 11 am and that parades and public meetings should be allowed to honor its remembrance.
World War I, also known as the Great War, spawned one of the deadliest conflicts in history. It was the first global war; a war that ended in the deaths of more than 9 million civilians and 7 million combatants. At this point in history, no one had ever seen anything like the worldwide carnage of WWI, a war that changed the political geography and the ideological stability of the world.
As a result of this, in 1921, Congress passed legislation to approve the establishment of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. November 11th is chosen as the date to recognize this day. Congress also declares November 11th as a legal federal holiday to honor those who participated in the war.
Iin 1941 WWII began; and for almost five years (1941-1945) nations are embroiled in conflict, one that tests the resolve of our nations and spawns the most horrific weapon that humanity has known, the atomic bomb. WWII resulted in the deaths and casualties of 50 million people (innocents and combatants alike). As a result of WWI, WWII, and the Korean War, President Eisenhower changes Armistice Day to Veterans Day on June 1, 1954, in remembrance of all veterans who have served in combat or died in battle.
Since WWI, millions have died in wars throughout the globe. Let us not forget to honor those who have fought and died for our country on this special day. Do what you can today for a soldier, someone who has served our country with honor and distinction. Never forget that our freedom and independence resulted in the deaths of young men and women willing to stand up and be counted.