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Veteran’s Day History: U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day for 11/11/1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” The United States Congress passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. A Congressional Act approved 5/13/1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday: “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’. In 1945, WWII veteran Raymond Weeks, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in WWI. Raymond Weeks led a delegation to General Dwight Eisenhower, who supported the idea of National Veterans Day. President Ronald Reagan honored Raymond Weeks at the White House with the Presidential Citizenship Medal in 1982 as the driving force for the national holiday and Elizabeth Dole determined Raymond Weeks as the “Father of Veterans Day.” U.S. Representative Ed Rees presented a bill establishing the holiday through Congress. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill into law on 5/26/1954. Congress amended the bill on 6/1/1954, replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans,” and it has been known as Veterans Day since.

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