Veterans Day is one of those holidays that virtually everyone is aware of but few people know or truly understand its origins. Here are the basics.
Veterans Day was originally celebrated as Armistice Day, recognizing the Great War to end all wars. Specifically, Nov. 11 was set aside, and specifically 11 a.m. on that day, because that's when the guns fell silent, ending World War I.
Things became official in 1926 when congressional action designated that day and time as Armistice Day.
That's the way it was until World War II ended. In 1947, an unofficial celebration in Birmingham, Ala., honored all veterans.
Seven years later, then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law a bill officially setting aside Nov. 11 each year as Veterans Day.
Activities Sunday included stirring ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery. Commemorations were held in hundreds of locations across the country. Sunday, of course, was Nov. 11. Today is the legal public holiday.
Today, The Mining Journal publishes special Veterans Day material in our A section, including front page coverage and profiles and photos on pages inside the newspaper of dozens of local World War II veterans who recently journeyed to Washington, D.C., to visit the World War II Memorial plus other locations.
We invite readers to review these materials and to always keep in mind the old, and very true adage: Freedom is not free.