Veterans Day, which was originally founded around the virtue of the cessation of hostilities in World War I rather than the commemoration of any individual, should be a holiday beyond reproach.
Veterans Day had its origin in 1918 at the end of World War I, a conflict that was at that time so horrendous that it was dubbed “the Great War” or “the war to end all wars,” with the United States playing the decisive role in the Allied Powers’ final victory.
It was first known as Armistice Day, celebrated on Nov. 11 because that was the day agreed upon by the Allied nations and Germany to begin a total cessation of hostilities. It went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, after some 20 million people from both sides had given their lives in the war effort.
For many years thereafter, Armistice Day was just recognized on a state level. Twenty years later, when the winds of an even greater war were blowing toward what would be known as World War II — with Germany having annexed Austria and making clear preparations to take over Czechoslovakia — the U.S. Congress passed the act to establish Armistice Day as a legal federal holiday on May 13, 1938. Ironically, it was said at that very time to be “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace.”