As America prepares to honor its veterans, the University of Notre Dame would like to extend its appreciation to those who have sacrificed much to benefit us all. Words alone cannot express the depth of gratitude, but it is often said a simple, heartfelt “thank-you” means the world. With that in mind, the University extends its deepest thanks and encourages everyone to join in recognizing this important federal holiday and the patriotic men and women it honors.
Veterans Day traces its roots to Nov. 11, 1918, when Allied nations and Germany laid down their arms in recognition of an armistice that went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. This cease in hostilities effectively paved the way for the historic signing of the Treaty of Versailles seven months later. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 “Armistice Day,” a holiday to honor those who served to ensure victory in the name of peace and justice.
President Wilson could not predict that World War I, “the war to end all wars,” was just the beginning. World War II and the Korean War would soon follow, each with its share of veterans worthy of the country’s gratitude. Recognizing this, the 83rd Congress amended the holiday to be one that thanked all who served by striking the word “Armistice” and replacing it with “Veterans.”
On Oct. 8, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued his first “Veterans Day Proclamation” and the holiday that modern Americans recognize was born. While the date of the observance shifted for a time, President Gerald R. Ford returned the observance to its proper day, Nov. 11, in 1978, preserving the holiday’s historical significance.
As the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs explains, the holiday is “a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”
At Notre Dame, the spirit of Veterans Day is maintained year-round. We salute veterans and servicemembers by providing a number of programs designed to help them attain their educational goals. From special military discounts to dedicated representatives who are trained to understand the needs of student veterans, we strive to ensure the door to higher education is open to all those who serve or who have served.
We’re also honored to make educational goals of active-duty personnel more attainable. Notre Dame offers a flexible online educational experience that enables servicemembers to study from anywhere in the world, and to exit and re-enter their programs without penalty.
Notre Dame thanks all veterans for their service. We encourage both those who have served and those who are serving to take advantage of the resources available to help them attain their educational goals. We stand at the ready to assist in making those dreams become reality.