THE ELEVENTH HOUR OF THE ELEVENTH DAY OF THE ELEVENTH MONTH Celebrating the 100 Year Anniversary of the
WORLD WAR I ARMISTICE 11/11/1918
|Many associate the poppy with veterans. This most likely stems from the poem written by World War I Canadian soldier, John McCrae, “In Flanders Fields.”|
On Armistice Day, Americans gratefully acknowledged the sacrifice of veterans in ending the “War to End all Wars,” World War I. Fighting officially ceased at 11:00 am one hundred years ago November 11th. While that date signified the cessation of fighting, the Treaty of Versailles, not signed until June 28, 1919, marked the official end of the war. This year, Americans will celebrate the centennial of a momentous occasion, the World War I armistice.
Armistice Day was founded in 1919, one year after the end of fighting, when President Woodrow Wilson established November 11th as the holiday to recognize the contribution of America’s armed forces in World War I. In 1926, an act of Congress established Armistice Day as a date for parades, ceremonies, and displaying the US flag on public buildings. Twelve years later, it was declared a legal holiday to be officially known as Armistice Day. In 1954, shortly after the end of World War II, Congress amended this act by changing the name to Veterans Day and extending the honored to include American veterans of all wars. After the Uniform Holiday Act passed, the celebration of Veterans Day, like several other national holidays, was moved to a Monday. Veterans Day, however, was exempted from this law in 1975 after a great number of veterans and other citizens protested. This year November 11th happens to be a Sunday when veterans will be recognized and thanked for their service by grateful Americans.
The centennial of Armistice Day is the perfect opportunity to share the significance of the occasion with students. The following links contain historical information and activities for all grade levels.
Scholastic: Veterans Day and Patriotism is a lesson plan for grades 3 – 5.
9 Simple Ways You Can Help Veterans has ideas, some of which are out of the scope of any one individual, but are doable if taken on as a school project.
Lesson Plan: Veterans Day and the Meaning of Sacrifice Standards-based activities from PBS, many of which include videoclips.
Honoring Those Who Served: 11 Ways to Celebrate Veterans Day has suggestions for families, schools, and businesses to celebrate the day in unique ways.
Celebrate Veterans Day with Your Children, as its name implies includes simple, doable suggestions.
US Department of Veterans Affairs: History of Veterans Day for reliable information on the history of the holiday.