Thursday, November 11 is Veterans Day in America, a day when we take the time to celebrate the brave U.S. military veterans who have done so much for our country. Each year, the federal holiday encourages citizens to pause in remembrance of those who have served in the armed forces, but there is a lot of history attached to the day. Here are three things you might not know about Veterans Day.

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

1. Veterans day was originally called Armistice Day

Originally, November 11th was meant to recognize the signing of the agreement that ended World War l. In 1918 the Allied powers ended the war and a year later, President Woodrow Wilson made November 11 a federal holiday.

According to the Library of Congress, 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…"

2. The Uniform Holiday Bill changed Veterans day

In 1968, the Uniform Holiday Bill was signed with the purpose of making sure that federal employees could enjoy three-day weekends during four specific national holidays by ensuring that they fall on Mondays. The four holidays include:

  • Washington's Birthday: February 22
  • Memorial Day: May 30
  • Veterans Day:  November 11
  • Columbus Day: October 11

However, the first time that Veteran's day was celebrated was not on the original holiday but on October 25, 1971. The holiday, after the law was passed, was very confusing for the citizens.  Because of this, it returned to being observed on November 11 in 1978, no matter the day of the week it happens to fall on.

3. National Veterans Day Ceremony

At 11 am on November 11, the Veterans Day National Ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery. The first part of the ceremony consists of laying a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a monument dedicated to the soldiers who were never found in conflict. There is a parade of colors by different veterans organizations as well as meaningful speeches. The Veterans Day National Committee also picks different places across the country for beautiful government-sponsored parades and military exhibits.

This Veteran's day, take the time to thank a Veteran or go to a museum to learn more about how the armed forces have helped shape America into the place it is today.