Veterans Day Traces its Roots to Emporia, Kansas

By: Will Anderson

Did you know that Veterans Day was first celebrated in Emporia, Kansas? In 1953, before Veterans Day was a nationally recognized holiday, the people of Emporia honored veterans everywhere. Alvin J. King was the first to propose the idea and quickly gained support from congressman Ed Rees, a fellow resident of Emporia. Rees then brought the proposal to President Eisenhower, and the rest is history!  

Our US Veterans have made many sacrifices so we can enjoy the freedoms and liberties of everyday life in the US. There are currently over 18 million living veterans in the United States. After returning home, a lot of veterans face various financial, medical and mental problems.

To celebrate our US veterans, we have a holiday – “Veterans Day” – held every November 11. Veterans Day is dedicated to those who have fought for our country – honoring their service, their patriotism and their willingness to serve and sacrifice for the greater good. 

How was the date chosen?

At the time, World War I was the most significant war our forces had experienced. WWI officially ended on June 28, 1919, following the signing of the treaty of Versailles. However, fighting concluded seven months earlier on November 11, which is why Veterans Day is held on that day. Veterans Day was first known as “Armistice Day.”

In 1926, congress passed a resolution for an annual observance. Beginning on November 11, 1938, Armistice Day officially became a national holiday. It wasn’t until 1954 when President Dwight D Eisenhower officially changed the name to “Veterans Day.”

Some people may get Memorial Day and Veterans Day confused. However, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans. In contrast, Memorial Day is about the remembrance of those lost while fighting for our country. 

At TrustPoint Insurance & Real Estate, we like to say, “every day is Veteran’s Day,” but we are very proud of Emporia’s role in such an honorable and important holiday.

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