Veterans Day 101: How Did it Start and What It Means

Veterans Day is a solemn and thoughtful time where we give thanks to all of those that have served in America's military forces. A day where we can hopefully take a brief respite from our partisan bickering to pay homage to those that made it all possible. 

Because while the war in Iraq is essentially over, Afghanistan begins to wind down, and we start using drones for everything from surveillance to attacking nothing can replace the efforts of our veterans past and present. And let's hope we can make the right decisions as a country for the sake of the veterans of the future. Here are four things to know about Veterans Day.

1. How did it start?: 

Veterans Day was first called Armistice Day to commemorate the ending of WWI. It was first proclaimed by Woodrow Wilson on November 11th 1919.

2. How did Armistice Day Become Veterans Day?: 

A WWII veteran, Raymond Weeks worked tirelessly starting in 1945 to expand Armistice Day to include all veterans. With the help of Dwight D. Eisenhower Veterans Day was celebrated for the first time nationally in 1947. In 1954, Congressman Ed Rees presented a bill that was eventually signed into law that changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day officially.

3. What's the Difference Between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?: 

Veterans Day celebrates all who served in the armed forces while Memorial Day celebrates those who died while serving.

4. Who Was the Last Living American WWI veteran?: 

If Veterans Day had stayed Armistice Day and only celebrated WWI veterans then Frank Buckles would have been the last man to be honored alive having served in WWI and dying at the age of 110 on February 27th2011.