Today we are commemorating Veterans Day in the US and the Armistice in France. The Armistice officially ended World War I (La Grande Guerre – The Great War) on the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month in 1918. The Armistice is a national holiday in France and has been observed since 1919. Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day (until 1954), was also first observed in the US on November 11th, 1919. In proclaiming this holiday, President Wilson stated:
“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.”
— Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856 – 1924), US President (1913-1921)
- The Allies and Germany signed the Armistice in Compiègne, France near Paris in Maréchal Foch’s train carriage (Le Wagon de l’Armistice – The Armistice Carriage). Representing France and the Allies, you can see the Maréchal Foch (standing) who lead the Armistice negotiations efforts for the Allies.
- On November 11th, 1918, the New York Times printed:
11/11/1918: Front Page of the New York Times – La Une du New York Times
- “Armistice Signed, End Of The War!”
- “War Ends At 6 O’Clock This Morning” [note: 11 AM Paris time but 6 AM EST]
– New York Times, November 11th, 1918
- “L’Armistice A Été Signé, La Guerre Est Finie!”
- “Fin De La Guerre À 6 Heures Ce Matin” [note: 6 heures, heure de New York mais 11 heures à Paris]
– New York Times, 11 Novembre 1918
- There were celebrations all over France as well as in the US. On November 11th, 1918, the New York Times reported that thousands of civilians gathered in New York on Wall Street to celebrate the return of freedom in Europe.
New Yorkers near the Treasury Building on Wall Street, November 11th, 1918
So today, our hearts are with all veterans – our own within the Art of the Home family and your veterans and their families as well dear Art of the Home readers.