The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month

  • Published
  • Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Public Affairs

Nov. 11, 1919, “Armistice Day” marked the first anniversary of the end of World War I. In 1926, Congress passed a resolution calling for an annual observance which then became a national holiday in 1938.

An armistice is a formal agreement to end hostilities. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918, fighting in WWI officially stopped after Germany signed an armistice agreement with Allies earlier in the day.

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation that changed the federal holiday’s name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. The name change aimed to pay tribute to all Americans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

It’s not the powerful weapons or sophisticated technology that makes the Air Force and Space Force the greatest in the world. The true strength is the spirit and skill of its Airmen and Guardians, past and present.
While formally recognizing and honoring those who have worn — and now wear the nation’s colors on this one day — veterans are remembered by appreciating their experiences and building on their legacy of service. President Ronald Reagan once remarked, “Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they have suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us."