Armistice Day or Veterans Day is an American federal holiday honoring military veterans. It is also celebrated in many countries around the world every November 11.
The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month marks the moment in 1918 when WWI hostilities ceased on the Western Front. The War to end all wars was over. So terrible was the carnage, that people could not imagine ever going to war again. Nothing was worth that kind of hell.
The date was declared a national holiday in many allied nations, to commemorate those members of the armed forces who were killed during war. An exception is Italy, where the end of the war is commemorated on November 4, the day of the Armistice of Villa Giusti. After World War II, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in the United States and to Remembrance Day in countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Armistice Day remains an official holiday in France. It is also an official holiday in Belgium, known also as the Day of Peace in the Flanders Fields.
In many parts of the world people take a two-minute moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. as a sign of respect for the roughly 20 million people who died in the war, as suggested by Edward George Honey in a letter to a British newspaper, although Wellesley Tudor Pole established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.
In the UK, beginning in 1939, the two-minute silence was moved to the Sunday nearest to November 11 in order not to interfere with wartime production should November 11 fall on a weekday. After the war most Armistice Day events were moved to the nearest Sunday and began to commemorate both World Wars. The change was made in many Commonwealth countries as well as the United Kingdom, and the new commemoration was named Remembrance Sunday or Remembrance Day. Both Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday are now commemorated formally in the UK.