Veterans Day, originally called Armistice Day, was a federal holiday meant to be as a remembrance of the soldiers who fought and died in the First World War. Americans celebrated the day on November 11th, this was meant to coincide with the surrender of the Germans which occurred on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month on 1918. In 1953, an Emporia, Kansas man named Alvin King, the owner of a shoe repair shop, had the idea to change Armistice Day to “All” Veteran’s Day. The Emporia Chamber of Commerce agreed to close their doors in honor of all veterans because of his campaign. With the help of U.S. Representative Ed Rees, also from Emporia, Congress pushed through a bill proposing to change the holiday to honor all veterans. President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law on May 26, 1954.
Because it is a federal holiday, many American people have the day off from school or work for Veterans Day. A Society for Human Resource Management poll in 2010 found that 21 percent of employers planned to observe the holiday in 2011. Iowa state law requires employers to a give Veterans Day off to each of their veteran employees if the employee would otherwise be required to work on that day, unless the employer would experience significant economic or operational disruption.
There are currently 24.9 million veterans residing in the United States. Take this day to thank one of them for his or her service to our country. More importantly, take this day to remember those who are currently in service overseas, and of course, remember those who never made it home to enjoy their own veterans day.