On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice to the fighting in World War I began. A year later, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation that made that day Armistice Day. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed Armistice Day to be renamed Veterans Day. While the details of the commemoration have changed over time, the purpose and role that the holiday plays in the lives of Americans remains the same.
Have students read Handout A: Veterans Day Proclamation and then answer the following questions.
Comprehension and Analysis Questions:
- According to President Eisenhower, why was Armistice Day originally observed?
- Why was Armistice Day changed to Veterans Day?
- Why did Eisenhower think this was important to do?
- According to Eisenhower, what is the role of citizens in commemorating Veterans Day?
- Why do you think honoring veterans is important to do in a community?