Originally, this day commemorated the end of the fighting in World War I at 11 am on November 11, 1918. It was called Armistice Day. But since that name applied only to World War I, the new name was proclaimed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954. Veterans Day now honors U.S. soldiers in all wars. It is observed in most states and in the U.S. territories and possessions.
The national observance of Veterans Day in the United States takes place at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetary in Arlington, Virginia. Services begin at 11 am with two minutes of silence followed by taps. There are parades and many churches hold memorial services and some schools present special assembly services. Canada honors its soldiers on the same date at Confederation Square in Ottawa. There the holiday is known as Remembrance Day.
Italy also honors its unknown soldier of World War I on November 4, the date of the Victory of Vittorio. On this day a wreath is placed at his tomb in the monument to Victor Emmanual II in Rome. England and France commemorated Armistice Day in 1920 by burying an unknown soldier in each countrys’ hightest place of honor – Westminster Abbey in London and beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
source: the new book of knowledge/Grolier Inc