In 1918, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh
month, the world rejoiced and celebrated. After four years of bitter war,
an armistice（停战）was signed. The "war to end
all wars" was over.
November 11, 1919 was set aside（记载下来）as
Armistice Day（停战日）in the United States, to
remember the sacrifices that men and women made during World War I in
order to ensure a lasting peace. On Armistice Day, soldiers who survived
the war marched in a parade through their home towns. Politicians and
veteran officers gave speeches and held ceremonies of thanks for the peace
they had won.
Congress voted Armistice Day a federal holiday in 1938, 20 years after
the war ended. But Americans realized that the previous war would not be
the last one. World War II began the following year and nations great and
small again participated in a bloody struggle. After the Second World War,
Armistice Day continued to be observed on November 11.
In 1953 townspeople in Emporia（恩波里亚城）,
Kansas called the holiday Veterans' Day in gratitude to the veterans in
their town. Soon after, Congress passed a bill（法案）introduced by a Kansas congressman renaming
the federal holiday to Veterans' Day. 1971 President Nixon declared it a
federal holiday on the second Monday in November.
Americans still give thanks for peace on Veterans' Day. There are
ceremonies and speeches and at 11:00 in the morning, most Americans
observe a moment of silence, remembering those who fought for peace.
After the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War, the emphasis
on holiday activities has shifted. There are fewer military parades and
ceremonies. Veterans gather at the Vietnam Veterans
Memorial（越战阵亡将士纪念碑）in Washington, D.C. to place gifts and stand
quiet vigil（守夜）at the names of their friends
and relatives who fell in the Vietnam War. Families who have lost sons and
daughters in wars turn their thoughts more toward peace and the avoidance
of future wars.
Veterans of military service have organized support groups such as the
American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. On Veterans' Day and
Memorial Day, these groups raise funds for their charitable activities.