(WWTI) – The first time today was celebrated was over 100 years ago, today is Veterans Day and it’s a day to honor all those who have served.

Armistice Day was first issued on November 11, 1919, by then-President Woodrow Wilson a year after the end of World War I. The purpose was to honor the fallen soldiers of the War for their sacrifice and bravery. Seven years later, Armistice Day became a legal holiday.

In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks suggested expanding the holiday to celebrate all veterans rather than just the ones who died in World War I and General Dwight Eisenhower was all for the idea. Weeks then organized the first Veterans Day celebration in 1945 in Alabama and every year since, until he passed in 1985. In 1982, he was honored by President Reagan with the Presidential Citizenship Medal.

It’s been 104 years since today was first celebrated as a day to honor those who have served in WWI and 78 years since Weeks expanded that to encompass all Veterans. Today is to honor those who have served and especially to thank our own local soldiers in Fort Drum.

A full history of Veterans Day is available on The US Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Happy Veterans Day!