We had a blast, a great time at the 2016 Veterans Day Show! Scroll through our great photos from that day.

A Brief History of Veterans Day

World War I - known at the time as "The Great War" - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919 in the Palace of Versailles, France.  However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  For that reason, November 11, 1918 is generally regarded as the end of "the war to end all wars."

President Woodrow Wilson declared the following November 11 the first commemoration of Armistice Day.

“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…” he said.

The celebration of Armistice Day initially was highlighted by parades, public meetings and a suspension of business beginning at 11 am.

An Act was approved on May 13, 1938 that officially made November 11 a legal holiday, dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be celebrated thereafter as Armistice Day.

With World War II, and the greatest national mobilization of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines there was an urging of veterans service organization to insert the word “Veterans” in place of “Armistice.”

Public Law 30 on June 1, 1954 announced November 11 as a day to honor American veterans of all wars. On October 1 that same year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation.  In this proclamation he said, “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veteran's organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.”

In 1968 Congress passed legislation to move Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October, along with three other holidays to various Mondays. The moving factor behind this congressional decision was to give ‘Federal employees three-day weekends, which would encourage travel, recreation and cultural activities, thus pumping money into the economy.  Several states disagreed with the congressional decision and continued to celebrate Veterans Day and the other holidays on their original dates.

It became apparent that the commemorate of Veterans Day on November 11 was of historic and patriotic significance to the American people. On September 20, 1975 President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97, which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to the original date of November 11, beginning in 1978.

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.  

Every year on November 11 at exactly 11 am, a color guard, comprised of members from each military branch, honors America’s war dead during an emotional ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. The President or his representative puts a wreath at the Tomb and a bugler sounds Taps.  Most of the ceremony takes place inside the Memorial Amphitheater, adjacent to the Tomb of the Unknowns.