"Let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiently, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain."
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Presidential Proclamation 3071, Veterans Day 1954
Schedule of Veterans Day Events*
Veterans Day Commemoration in the Quad, 10:30 a.m.
Wreath Laying at the Veterans Garden, 10:30 a.m.
Reception/Military Exhibit in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom, 11:15 a.m.
*Please let us know if you require an accommodation to participate in any of these events.
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Thank you for joining the Dean of Students Office and Student Foundation for the Annual Veterans Day Ceremony November 11, 2013.
In 1918, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month, the world rejoiced and celebrated. After four years of bitter war, the Allied powers signed a cease-fire agreement (an armistice) with Germany at Rethondes, France on November 11, 1918, bringing World War I to a close. The "war to end all wars" was over.
November 11, 1919 was set aside as Armistice Day in the United States to remember the sacrifices that men and women made during World War I in order to ensure a lasting peace. On Armistice Day, soldiers who survived the war marched in a parade through their home towns. Politicians and veteran officers gave speeches and held ceremonies of thanks for the peace they had won.
Armistice Day officially received its name in the United States in 1926 through a Congressional resolution. It became a national holiday 12 years later. Congress voted Armistice Day a federal holiday in 1938, 20 years after the war ended. But Americans realized that the previous war would not be the last one. World War II began the following year and nations great and small again participated in a bloody struggle. After the Second World War, Armistice Day continued to be observed on November 11.
In 1953, townspeoople in Emporia, Kansas called the holiday Veterans Day in gratitude to the veterans in their town. Soon after, Congress passed a bill introduced by a Kansas congressman renaming the federal holiday to Veterans Day. Beginning in 1954, the United States designated November 11 as Veterans Day to honor veterans of all U.S. wars. In 1971 President Nixon declared it a federal holiday on the second Monday in November.
Americans still give thanks for peace on Veterans Day. There are ceremonies and speeches with most Americans observing a moment of silence, remembering those who fought for peace.