Saturday, 13 November 2010

Author Jillian Chantel talks about Veterans Day

Armistice Day now known as Veterans Day was first decreed by President Woodrow Wilson on November 11, 1919. It was to mark the anniversary of the armistice agreement between the countries involved in World War I.

The Armistice itself was signed in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year 1918. This Armistice ended the hostilities on the Western Front of The Great War, or World War I. It was the precursor to the Treaty of Versailles which ended that war for good.

When Wilson proclaimed the first Armistice Day, it was with the intention of a short two minutes of no business being conducted at 11 am on November 11. Parades and public gatherings were also encouraged. Oh what a long way we have come from that! There are still parades but we also have the whole day off for other pursuits.
In 1920, Wilson proclaimed the Sunday nearest November 11 as Armistice Day Sunday. He wanted churches to hold services for international peace. One year later, on November 11, 1921, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was established at Arlington National Cemetery and dedicated. If you ever get a chance to see the changing of the guard, go. It is an amazing thing to watch. Very moving and respectful.

Armistice Day became Veteran’s Day in June 1954, when Eisenhower signed legislation to change the name to honor the veterans that had served in World War II and Korea as well as those World War I veterans.

One interesting little fact about this holiday is that when Congress passed the Federal Monday Holiday Law, Veteran’s Day was to be moved to the fourth Monday of October. Many of the states changed theirs initially but went back to November 11 and so the law was changed in 1978 to put this day of honor back to November 11.

I personally like the symmetry of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. How awesome is it that our forebears signed a cease fire/armistice at such a date and time? For sure, this date was easy to remember in high school history class.
Speaking of history class, I love the history of the early 20th Century. So many changes happened during the twentieth Century, it boggles the mind. A person born in 1900 saw many dramatic changes from then to the end of the century. Desert Breeze Publishing is the go to publisher for this time period. I recommend a search of the website for some awesome stories set in the 20th Century. My own book, "Redemption for the Devil" will be available next summer and it’s set in 1920.

Many of the Desert Breeze writers love the 1900s for inspiration as much as I do and I hope you’ll check them out.
Thanks for letting me bring you a history lesson today and I hope you enjoyed your holiday in memory of the real life heroes.

Jillian Chantal


  1. Jillian,
    I love the symetery of the 11th as well. I really think Woodrow Wilson was a forward thinker. He's my 2nd favorite president after FDR, then Lincoln, because these men had to LEAD in the face of great adversity and that - well.

    Thanks so much for reminding us of the reasons behind the holiday.


  2. Steph- I agree about the 3 awesome presidents! They were all about saving this great nation. AND thanks to you personally for your own service to our country. I hope you enjoyed "your" holiday.

  3. (I really hope this site works this time! Tried all day to post a comment with your new book and it never worked!)

    As the daughter of a WWII Navy man and mother of a Marine Corps sniper (who learned to shoot from his mother!), Veterans Day holds a special context for me. It joins together generations of not only combatants for freedom, but generations of those who bravely maintained the homefront in their necessary absence.

    I'm truly thankful for the day set aside to honor our men and women in the Military.

  4. Thanks for coming by, Runere and I'm glad the post came through this time.

    We also appreciate the women and men of the armed services.

  5. Great Post, Jillian. Those brave men were some of the first to be attacked by chemical WMD. Unfortunately, our country has failed to build a WWI Memorial in Washington to recognize those brave men. Frank Buckles, the last WWI vet has joined the fight to build one. At 109, one wonders how much oomph is left.

  6. Rita- Thanks for coming by- I think we need to garner some support for that WWI memorial. It's important.