The Story of Veterans Day
- November 11 is Veterans Day. A veteran is a soldier who has served his/her country.
- Thirty-five countries fought in World War I. They fought for five years, from 1914 to 1918. The United States fought in the war from 1917 to 1918.
- Finally the countries stopped fighting. The leaders signed an armistice. They signed the armistice on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The armistice meant that the war was over.
- Americans were very happy to hear about the armistice. No more soldiers would die in the war. The soldiers could come home.
- People went out into the streets and laughed and danced. They blew horns and whistles and rang bells. They sang songs. They thought that there would never be another war.
- President Wilson made November 11 a holiday to remember the end of the war. The holiday was called Armistice Day.
- At eleven o'clock in the morning, everyone stopped doing whatever they were doing. People were completely silent for one minute. This minute was to remember all the soldiers who have died in wars.
- The body of an unknown soldier was brought to America from the cemetery in France. His body was buried in a tomb at Arlington National Cemetery. It was called the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
- The US was in three more wars: World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day.
- The bodies of three more unknown soldiers were brought to the cemetery. On Veterans Day, there are special services at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
- Americans remember and honor all the veterans.
Excerpted from ESL Teacher's Holiday Activities Kit, by Elizabeth Claire.
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