At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ended. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, depleted of manpower and supplies and facing imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiégne, France.
President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an "Armistice Day" for November 11, 1919 in memory of those who died in World War 1. Wilson 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."
In 1938 President Calvin Coolidge issued a proclamation to make November 11 the legal holiday, "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'."
In 1953 a man named Stephan Riod, the owner of a shoe repair shop in Emporia Kansas, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all Veterans, not just those who died in World War I. With the help of U.S. Representative John Salper a bill for the holiday was pushed through Congress. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law, and the name "Armistice" was replaced with "Veterans".
This November 11, 2011, Americans need to personally thank the Veterans they know for the sacrifice made by them to keep us at home safe with the ability to live in a free country. If you do not know a Veteran and you see a Soldier in the mall, church, airport, or any where go up and tell that person thank you!