Veterans Health Administration
VA Medical Centers mark Veterans Day across America
President Eisenhower signing the bill which changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day
A Short History of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s Veterans
World War I ended when an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day.
Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor Veterans of World War I, but in 1954, because World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the nation’s history, and after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, Congress removed the word “Armistice” and inserted in its place the word “Veterans.”
November 11th then became a day to honor American Veterans of all wars.
Later that same year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation” (pdf) which stated: “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all Veterans, all Veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in this common purpose.”
Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls.
Veterans Day, 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.
VA Medical Centers across the country are celebrating Veterans Day. See what your Medical Center is doing to mark the day.
Just a few of the scheduled celebrations:
- Phoenix, Ariz.
- On November 12, the Phoenix VA Medical Center will conduct its annual Veterans Day Parade with celebrity entertainer Wayne Newton serving as grand marshal.
- Lexington, Ky.
- On November 10, the Lexington VA Medical Center will sponsor a 5-kilometer Veterans Day – Victory Run/Walk.
- Coatesville, Pa.
- The Vietnam Traveling Wall, also known as The Wall that Heals, will visit the Coatesville, Pa., VA Medical Center from November 7-11.
- Portland, Ore.
- The Portland VA Medical Center is planning an extensive observation of Veterans Day, beginning on November 3 with a Welcome Home event for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans and their families.
- Northport, N.Y.
- The Northport VA Medical Center will present a Veterans Day concert on November 9 in its community living center.
- Miami, Fla.
- On November 11, the Miami VA Medical Center will conduct a Veterans Day observance on it east patio. Participants will include Veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Orlando, Fla.
- Representatives of the Orlando VA Medical Center will participate November 10 in the city’s annual Veterans Day Parade.
- Tampa, Fla.
- The Tampa VA Medical Center will participate November 12 in the city’s annual Veterans Day Parade and conduct a ceremony on the hospital grounds.
- Bay Pines, Fla.
- On November 11, the Bay Pines VA Medical Center will hold its annual Veterans Day ceremony.
- West Palm Beach, Fla.
- Representatives of the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center will participate in Veterans Day Events throughout the community including a wreath ceremony at the medical center on November 9.
- Sioux Falls, S.D.
- The Sioux Falls VA Health Care System will observe Veterans Day by participating in the community Veterans Day program sponsored by the area Chamber of Commerce Military & Veterans Affairs Committee.
- Tomah, Wis.
- The Tomah VA Medical Center will conduct a Veterans Day program on November 9 in its chapel.
- Grand Junction, Colo.
- The Grand Junction VA Medical Center will participate in the city’s Veterans Day parade and send representatives to community events, including an annual rededication of a Vietnam Memorial.
- Bedford, Mass.
- The Bedford VA Medical Center is registering participants for a 5- and 10-kilometer Veterans Fun Run, to be held November 10 with the start and finish on the hospital grounds. Proceeds will go to support local deployed military personnel and their families.
- Ann Arbor, Mich.
- The Ann Arbor VA Medical Center will conduct a Veterans Day Ceremony featuring the University of Michigan ROTC program.
- Marion, Ind.
- The Marion VA Medical Center will host a Veterans Day parade for the town of Marion.
- Alexandria, La.
- The Alexandria VA Medical Center will present a Veterans Day Parade on November 11 followed by a formal program and community picnic. Brigadier General (Retired) Sherian Grace Cadoria, the first black female general in the U.S. Army and the Army’s highest ranking female at the time of her retirement, will be the featured speaker.