By John Mattingly
On Nov. 11 we observed Veterans Day, again lavishing praise and gratitude on our veterans. However, the Nov. 11 holiday originated as Armistice Day, a day commemorating peace at the end of WWI.
The European Allies met in Compeigne France in 1918 to sign an armistice with Germany that ended WWI, the “war to end all wars” that left over 20 million dead. Armistice Day was observed with an hour of silence on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
The first Armistice Day in the U.S. was Nov. 11, 1919 following a proclamation by Woodrow Wilson citing the day as an “opportunity given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the council of nations.” In 1938, the U.S. Congress made Armistice Day a national holiday.