Friday is Veterans Day in the United States, a federal holiday set aside annually for honoring Americans who served in the United States Armed Forces.
The day was originally created to mark the end of World War I which formally ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, in France.
But fighting had actually ceased seven months earlier following an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the allied nations and Germany, which went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – November 11, 1918.
To honor that tradition, Vice President Kamala Harris – filling in for President Joe Biden, who is traveling – will place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery just outside the U.S. capital on Friday.
Then-President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day later in 1919, and it was officially made a national federal holiday in 1938. In 1954, following World War II, the U.S. Congress changed the day to Veterans Day to honor the veterans of all U.S. wars.
The federal government and many schools are closed to mark the holiday.