On the eleventh day of the eleventh month at precisely eleven o’clock, 1918, America went mad.
The New York Evening Sun, dated Monday, November 11, 1918, carried this feature article:
HOLIDAY PROCLAIMED AS CITY WILDLY CELEBRATES ARMISTICE
Greater New York’s millions, men, women and children, went wild with joy to-day over the news that Germany has been whipped to a frazzle, that the Kaiser has been chased out of Germany, and that the war is over. The delirious exultation that the city went through - and is still going through - would have been beyond all belief, if it had not actually been seen.
Early in the day, the mayor had proclaimed a public holiday, which was just a simple formality, for no one had the least intention of working anyway. Shops, factories, offices-all were deserted. The article continues:
Men and women, strangers, kissed each other in the streets.
At noon a huge parade of leaping, shouting, flag-waving men, women and children surged northward from City Hall to encounter other riotous processions coming down Fifth Avenue, mingling one with another.
What was happening in New York was happening all over the country. Everyone went wild with rejoicing. The World War was over! Armistice!
In addition, since that never-to-be-forgotten day in 1918, Armistice Day has been observed with celebration, and in some states with public ceremony. Everyone remembers Armistice Day and pauses, if but for a moment, to think kindly of soldiers who lie buried “in Flanders Fields,” where “the poppies grow.”
Poppies are worn on Armistice Day in memory of the soldiers and sailors who gave their lives in the armed service of our nation. If a dinner, party, or celebration is given in honor of the signing of armistice, poppies should be the predominating note. Of course, any celebration on this day must carry with it a patriotic significance.
President Dwight Eisenhower renamed Armistice Day a national holiday - Veterans Day - in 1954.