By: Karen Horton, Guest Blogger
Now that Halloween has come and gone, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, many kids forget about the American Holiday that comes in between: Veterans Day! I’ll admit, I didn’t think much about Veterans Day, until my first-born asked me about it.
Chase, who just started Kindergarten this year, asked me why they were getting the day off for Veterans Day. Of course, I explained that Veterans Day is to honor our fallen troops and that we have a lot to be thankful for as American citizens. However, my kid is a very curious child. He rarely leaves a topic alone after the first question.
So! I did what any young mother would do in the same situation: I turned to Google. Chase and I spent about an hour learning about Veterans Day together, before we finally satisfied his questions regarding his day off from school.
Who Started Veterans Day?
The short answer: President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In order to make a day into a National Holiday, it must be signed into law. Veterans Day was already celebrated at the time of Eisenhower’s presidency, however, we called it something else. President Eisenhower made Veterans Day a national holiday in 1954 to honor all military veterans.
What Was it Originally Called?
Veterans Day started out as Armistice Day. Stay with me here. November 11th was the day America signed the armistice that effectively ended WWI. President Coolidge signed Armistice Day into a national law so that no one would work or go to school on the day that we all agreed to peace over fighting. (Chase and I got sidetracked for a little bit, talking about war and peace and Presidents and the process for things to become a law etc…)
But back to Veterans Day!
What’s An Armistice?
An armistice, as Chase needed a little further explaining, is a formal truce. It’s the peace treaty that we signed to end World War I and most importantly it means that there would be no more fighting. That, I think, is very noteworthy for a young mind. Great nations can get into very dangerous disagreements over money, power, and differing opinions. An armistice, can end the violence and secure a peaceful future.
So if you, or your kid, need to remember why Veterans Day is so special, it started out as a celebration of peace and transformed into a day that we honor the men and women who bring peace to America.
Since America has hundreds of holidays and special celebratory days, such as National Ice Cream day and National Cat Day, knowing what makes it a national holiday (and one that you gets you a day off from school for that matter) is a big deal.
And with that, I hope you all enjoy a peaceful Veterans Day!