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Around the world, the 11 hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is marked with a minute of silence to recognize the precise time of the end of World War I hostilities on November 11th, 1918 when the armistice with Germany came into effect. Originally intended to honor those who died, and known as Armistice Day, November 11th became a legal holiday in the United States under a 1938 Congressional Act. The name remained the same until Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran, led a delegation to then General Dwight Eisenhower in 1945 to advocate expanding Armistice Day to encompass all service men and women, not just those who died. As a result of his efforts, the bill to formally change the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day was finally signed into law by President Eisenhower in 1954.

Memorial Day, earlier in the year, pays respect to those soldiers who lost their lives in the service of their country.