Recognizing Veteran's Day - National Council of Teachers of English
Back to Blog

Recognizing Veteran’s Day

Curious about the NCTE and Library of Congress connection? Through a grant announced recently by NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick, NCTE is engaged in new ongoing work with the Library of Congress, and “will connect the ELA community with the Library of Congress to expand the use of primary sources in teaching.” Stay tuned for more throughout the year!


How do you observe Veterans Day? People do many things to commemorate this special holiday, which has been observed since 1919, though it had a different name and a slightly different meaning back then.

It was on November 11, 1918, that Allied powers signed a cease-fire agreement, an armistice with Germany at Rethondes, France, ending World War I. Not only does the U.S. observe this day. Great Britain and France continued to recognize Armistice Day every year until World War II, when, once again, it was no time to be celebrating peace.

This day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954, after the Korean War, to include American veterans of all wars.

The Library of Congress created the Veteran’s History Project through the American Folklife Center. Included in the resources are some specifically for educators and students. One of the suggested activities is to interview wartime veterans and civilians as they have extensive stories to share.

This activity from provides a framework for conducting interviews:

  • As much as possible, let the student do the planning.
  • Use a variety of strategies to prompt the student’s questioning.
  • Make sure the student is prepared for the interview itself.
  • Remind the student to be respectful of the interviewee’s answers.
  • Help the student move the process beyond the interview.

How do you plan to recognize Veteran’s Day?