The Associated Press sent out a tip today: “Veterans Day is the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918. The federal legal holiday is Nov. 11.”
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs,
An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
When describing Veterans Day (no apostrophe), write it is a day set aside by Congress to honor veterans of all wars. You can then elaborate on the history and the significance of 11/11 or on the “11th hour, 11th day, 11th month” or about Armistice Day (called Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth nations).